Arizona's Arbelo Puts Power On Display In Low Class A
PHOENIX—Low Class A South Bend first baseman Yazy Arbelo played in a pitcher's park, a pitcher's league and a pitcher's climate. He spent the first month of the season playing at an average temperature of 58 degrees, and the Silver Hawks were out of town the only time the temperature hit 80 in South Bend, Ind., during the first seven weeks of the season.
None of that seemed to matter.
"He's got something you can't teach—that power," farm director Mike Bell said.
The 23-year-old Arbelo set a South Bend record with 31 home runs and led the Midwest League in homers and extra-base hits (62) while elevating himself squarely onto Arizona's radar—even in an organization flush with young first basemen, such as Paul Goldschmidt and potentially Bobby Borchering and Matt Davidson. One of his more memorable home runs hit the upper right-hand corner of the Coveleski Field scoreboard, which is 365 feet from home plate and 40 feet high.
"If you are hitting 30 homers in that league, you are doing something right," Bell said. "He's provided a lot of that team's offense, and he's doing it without a lot of real big bats around him."
Arbelo, one of four Diamondbacks selected out of tiny Keystone (Pa.), made his presence felt almost immediately after signing last year. The 26th-round pick hit .285/.377/.521 with 14 home runs and 55 RBIs at short-season Yakima. He got better as he saw more pitching, hitting .330 with eight homers and 24 RBIs in August.
Arbelo still tends to be pull-conscious. He hit .247/.361/.516 while leading the MWL with 161 strikeouts, but he had shown signs of improvement. His 29th home run went to his pull side, but he followed that with a double off the batter's eye in straightaway center in his next trip. He broke Billy Martin's franchise record of 25 homers on Aug. 14.
Arbelo, a 6-foot-2, 229-pound Puerto Rico native who moved to south Florida at an early age, will hone his skills in winter ball, getting valuable at-bats while refining his agility and footwork around the bag.
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