MARYVALE, ARIZ.—You will get an argument from no one that shortstop Orlando Arcia is the Brewers’ No. 1 prospect.
But Brewers manager Craig Counsell says what makes Arcia truly special is not just his sublime offensive and defensive skill set.
“His personality and makeup, that enhances his tools,” Counsell said. “He loves the game. That’s what stands out on the back fields of spring training, from watching him play. He plays the game from his heart.”
Asked if the high expectations placed on a top prospect could drag Arcia down, Counsell added, “His personality and style of play almost welcomes it. That’s a compliment. I think he welcomes the spotlight. I think he enjoys the competition.”
The countdown to Arcia becoming the Brewers’ starting shortstop officially began when the 21-year-old Venezuelan reported to his first big league camp. General manager David Stearns said Arcia would begin the season at Triple-A Colorado Springs but he is not expected to be there for long.
“I’m happy to have the opportunity to be here,” said Arcia, who batted .307 with a .347 OBP, .800 OPS, 37 doubles, seven triples, eight homers and 69 RBIs last season at Double-A Biloxi.
“My mentality right now is just to keep working and get better every day. I don’t feel pressure or put pressure on myself because I’m No. 1. I just want to go out there and be the same baseball player I have been.”
Arcia said he speaks often with older brother Oswaldo, an outfielder for the Minnesota Twins, to get advice and support. But he added that he also wants to find his own way to the major leagues.
“He tells me to keep working hard so the bosses in the organization see that,” Arcia said. “We text and stay in contact very often. We help each other, but you have to know what you have to do and keep learning.”
• Lefty Sean Nolin was claimed off waivers from Oakland after being designated for assignment to open a 40-man roster spot for OF Khris Davis, acquired in a trade with the Brewers for catcher Jacob Nottingham and RHP Bubba Derby. In essence, that made it a 3-for-1 trade.