• Tigers Garcia gives hope for Twins Arcia



    Although there have been many storylines throughout the playoffs, one that may not be getting enough play is that the Detroit Tigers have handed over playing time to 21-year-old Avisail Garcia. Consider: he began this season in the Florida State League and played just 55 games at Double-A Erie. The Tigers called him up to the big leagues on August 31, making him eligible to compete in the post season.

    Garcia has just three hits in 12 at bats this postseason, but he has driven in three pretty important runs. He has one RBI in each of the games against the Yankees.

    He is starting in right field against left-handed pitchers, like Andy Pettitte in Game 1 of the ALCS. With a righty on the mound for the Yankees in Game 2 (Hiroki Kuroda), Quinton Berry got the start, but when the Bombers went to lefty Boone Logan later in the game with the game at hand, Garcia came through with a pinch-hit RBI single.

    There are similarities between Garcia and the Tigers Triple Crown man, Miguel Cabrera. Garcia is listed at 6-4 and 240 pounds. Cabrera is listed at 6-4 and 240 pounds. Their batting stances are very similar as are their mannerisms in the batter’s box. Hey, if there is a hitter that a kid from a small town in Venezuela should emulate (on the field only!), it certainly would be Cabrera.

    As I see Garcia playing and contributing to this Tigers playoff run, I can’t help but also see similarities between Asivail Garcia and the Twins prospect Oswaldo Arcia. Like Garcia, the 21-year-old Arcia started the season in the Florida State League before moving up to the Eastern League for the season’s second half. I can’t help but wonder, if the Twins had made a playoff run in 2012, would the Twins have considered bringing up Oswaldo Arcia and playing him in October?

    Probably not. The Twins would not have put Arcia in that situation, for a couple of reasons. First, and foremost, the Twins had plenty of outfielders that were playing well. Josh Willingham was in left field. Denard Span in Centerfield. Ben Revere was in right field. Also, Chris Parmelee could have been put in right field as well after crushing AAA pitching all season. Frankly, there were enough other options for the Twins, even in a rotten 2012 season, that Arcia did not need to be rushed.

    It’s different with the Tigers. They have Austin Jackson in centerfield. Andy Dirks has earned every day playing time in the outfield. Quinton Berry had a nice rookie season, but he made a perfect platoon option. Brennan Boesch also hits left-handed, so he wasn’t a platoon option. The right-handed hitting Garcia was a good match with Berry. Also, I’m guessing it wasn’t a very difficult decision for Tigers’ manager Jim Leyland to keep the free-swinging Boesch off of the playoff roster.

    I also don’t think it would be fair to say that the Twins would never consider bringing up a young player from the minor leagues in September (or August 31) and playing him in the playoffs. In 2003, Michael Cuddyer got recalled to the Twins for September and was the starting right fielder in the ALDS. He started in place of “Dusty Kielmohr” (Bobby Kielty and Dustin Mohr) and went 5-13 (.385) with 3 walks in the series against the A’s.

    How does Oswaldo Arcia rank as a prospect compared to Avisail Garcia? When Baseball America came out with its lists of top prospects by league, both players made two lists. In the Florida State League (High-A), Arcia was listed as the #7 prospect while Garcia was #13. In the Eastern League (AA), Arcia ranked #6 while Garcia ranked at #11.

    Here are their 2012 numbers, for comparison’s sake:

    FLORIDA STATE LEAGUE

    Name Team Games BA/OBP/SLG OPS 2B 3B HR
    Oswaldo Arcia Ft. Myers 55 .309/.376/.517 .893 16 3 7
    Avisail Garcia Lakeland 67 .289/.324/.447 .771 8 5 8

    EASTERN LEAGUE
    Name Team Games BA/OBP/SLG OPS 2B 3B HR
    Oswaldo Arcia New Britain 69 .328/.398/.557 .955 20 5 10
    Avisail Garcia Erie 55 .312/.345/.465 .810 9 3 6


    Both players were quality Venezuelan prospects and signed just days apart from each other in July of 2007.

    2008 – Arcia played in the Dominican Summer League. Garcia played in the Venezuelan Summer League.

    2009 – While Arcia moved up one level at a time, starting in the GCL, the Tigers had Garcia start the 2009 season in the Midwest League, playing for West Michigan. Arcia put together a solid season in the GCL, posting a .792 OPS. Garcia struggled, as you would expect, with a .613 OPS.

    2010 – Garcia returned to West Michigan in 2010 and improved slightly as a 19-year-old. He posted a .669 OPS. Meanwhile, Arcia put together his monster season for Elizabethton. It was the year that he hit .375/.424/.672 (1.096 OPS) with 21 doubles, seven triples and 14 home runs.

    2011 – Last year, Arcia started the season in Beloit where he hit .352/.420/.704 with 14 extra base hits in April. He had elbow surgery, and when he came back in June, he went right to Ft. Myers where he posted a .763 OPS for the Miracle with 24 extra base hits. Garcia spent all of 2011 with Lakeland, also in the Florida State League, where he posted a .686 OPS with 33 extra base hits.

    2012 – Both started the season back in the Florida State League. Arcia posted an .893 OPS in 55 games before moving up to AA New Britain where he was even better (.955 OPS). Garcia posted a .771 OPS with Lakeland in 67 games before moving up to AA Erie where he posted an .810 OPS. Garcia got the promotion to the Tigers still on August 31 and hit .319 for the Tigers in 23 games. He had 15 singles in 47 at bats.

    As Oswaldo Arcia is beginning his Venezuelan Winter League season in Aragua (the hometown of Garcia), Garcia is playing in the ALCS against the Yankees. As I watch Garcia contribute for the Tigers in the playoffs, I can’t help but get excited about the Twins future with Oswaldo Arcia (and Aaron Hicks, who ranked #8 in Baseball America’s Eastern League rankings and is also beginning his season in Venezuela with Margarita – where he is 5-14 (.357) to start the season) being a big part of it.
    This article was originally published in blog: Tigers Garcia gives hope for Twins Arcia started by Seth Stohs
    Comments 39 Comments
    1. mlhouse's Avatar
      mlhouse -
      The other aspect that the Twins really need to look into is to find a short-season A team to work with. Most of our college level draft picks should be assigned to such a team, rather than Elizabethton. Sure, it is great that Elizabethton is always a "winning" team, but one reason for that is the Twins send more advanced players there.

      WIth a short season A team, we can send the advanced prospects to a higher competitive level without upsetting the rosters of the full season A teams. From this level, the players can go three different routes: the advanced players to A+(or even AA), the average players to A, and the below average players to the various extended spring training leagues.

      For the advanced prospects, this creates a short cut in development. A college prospect could be in A+ ball their first full professional season instead of A that the Twins will move them to.

      I am not saying that the Twins have not had exceptions in moving through the minors. Jesse Crain and Scott Baker are two examples of what I think should be the standard for the Twins, and if you look at their minor league career you can picture how a short season A team would have naturally fit into their path.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      So keeping Meyers in the minors and being awful at the MLB level was a good idea? KC has no pitching, they keep old stiffs around for their grit and veteranniness. That is why they are bad, not because they promote players wrongly.
    1. Winston Smith's Avatar
      Winston Smith -
      "The Twins didn't need to evaluate Arcia or Hicks yet in September. They did need to see Parmelee and some of those infielders. "

      What does Arcia getting those 45 ab's Carson had have to do with Parmalee or the infielders? Arcia is on the 40 man give him a taste of the big leagues it might make him work that much harder to get back. Wasting those ab's on Carson makes no sense.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by mlhouse View Post
      The station by station approach that the Twins use hurts them in two ways:

      1. It reduces the trade value of their minor league players. Not that the Twins would ever consider making a trade that would trade a high level minor league players, but several years ago when they had playoff level teams they could have looked to make a deal of minor league players for established veteran players. Because we hold our players back, we don't get much "age premium" in valuation. To see how this works, look at the Santana trade with the Mets. The minor league players we got from the Mets were vastly overrated, and the reason why was that players like Delois Guerra were pitching at levels 1-3 higher than they would have been in the Twins organization. "His stats aren't spectacular, but he is a 18 year old pitching in A+ ball"...................

      2. The station by station approach shortens the development window of the players. IF a star minor league prospect gets to the major leagues at 24 years of age (lets say Chris Parmalee) their career windows are much shortened. IF they struggle at first (lets say Chris Parmalee) sending them down is a valid option, but that takes more time off the clock. Suddenly, the player is 26-27 years old with limited major league experience, and the clock has run out. If you get the player up when they are 21-22 years old they still have time to work the major league kinks out.
      I don't think I could possibly disagree with this more than I do...

      #1 - If I read that correctly, you're saying that the Twins should promote players faster than they should be promoted so that they can trade them? Don't you think that part of the reason that the four players the Twins got from the Mets struggled so much was because they were promoted too quickly? Maybe if they had been promoted more appropriately, they would have turned out. The Twins have called some players up when they are 21-22. Mauer was 20 when he debuted. There are other examples. Most are 24-25... but that's pretty normal. That's why most free agents are 30-32 years old.

      #2 - I get what you're saying, that they have less big league time to develop than if they get pushed up too early. Of course, if pushing them too early means that their minor league development isn't done correctly, then it doesn't matter because they won't make it in the big leagues. Parmelee is one example, but the Twins could hardly find a place for him to play in 2012... where were they going to find it in 2011 before September? And, looking at Parmelee's numbers in 2010 and then again in 2011 at AA, I'd say we still can't say he'll be a star. Alexi Casilla debuted early with the Twins... did that help his overall development?

      someone once told me... the goal is not to get them to the big leagues as fast as possible... it's for them to be ready when they get there. That makes total sense to me... Would Denard Span have been ready as a 20 year old to get playing time with the Twins when he was struggling in the Midwest League? That would have crushed him.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by mlhouse View Post
      I am not saying that the Twins have not had exceptions in moving through the minors. Jesse Crain and Scott Baker are two examples of what I think should be the standard for the Twins, and if you look at their minor league career you can picture how a short season A team would have naturally fit into their path.
      Garza went from Ft. Myers to the big leagues in one year.
      Slowey went from Ft. Myers to Rochester. (same with Baker and Crain) Oh, and Kyle Gibson did too in his first pro season.
      Brian Duensing pitched for Beloit, Ft. Myers and New Britain in the same year. Logan Darnell did that last year.

      The Twins had five of their 2012 draft picks move up to Beloit this year. That's not exactly slow. The guys that didn't were fighting some injury.

      There are a bunch of examples of examples of college pitchers who the Twins have moved up quite quickly. Are they more patient with the toosly hitters? Absolutely. Should they?! Probably not. I'd say their track record with guys like Morneau, Mauer, Kubel, Cuddyer, Span, Revere indicates that they're not exactly hurting their players. Yup, every organization is going to have their Matt Moses, and the jury is still out on Plouffe and Benson and such...
    1. kab21's Avatar
      kab21 -
      People complain about this station to station approach the Twins have had but like I've said before very few twins prospects have deserved to be pushed aggressively. And now there is a complaint that Arcia has been promoted too slowly. He'll probably be up for good at age 22.

      This whole complaint with the September callups is ridiculous also. the financial setback from calling up top prospects in September has made this a thing of the past unless they are fighting for a playoff spot.
    1. greengoblinrulz's Avatar
      greengoblinrulz -
      Change to question from whether the other 29 teams woulda called up Hicks/Arcia this Sept if they had em.
      The AL team goin to the World Series callup up a lower prospect & has him starting in the playoffs but the worst team in the AL cant find playing time for em AND plan on having both spend the first half of next yr in AAA.
      This organization is emabarrasing & next yrs 90 loss team wil finally clean out the management garbage that enjoys the Carsons/Blackburn/Butera's of the world
    1. kab21's Avatar
      kab21 -
      I already typed it in the previous post but the only teams that usually call up top prospects for September are playoff teams. The Twins are not alone in this. This is the new economics of baseball.
    1. TRex's Avatar
      TRex -
      So you would have had them start in February, play all the way until Oct. 4, and then start in Venezuela Oct. 10th? Or perhaps you think their time in the ML would mean that they didn't need to go to the winter leagues? Maybe you think they could have started in Venezuela any time the Twins wanted? What would your development timeline have been from Sept. 1 until Feb. 20th?

      I understand that people have the right to wish (demand) that the minor leagues be better (different). However, over the last 12 years (in which the Twins have had winning records in 9 years), the Twins minor league yearly average was 11th in MLB (according to BA). And it appears it will be in the 11 range this coming year as well. And with the 4th overall pick in the 2013 draft it is likely that we will be back in the top 10. This hardly seems like an inept organization.
    1. mlhouse's Avatar
      mlhouse -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by mlhouse View Post
      I am not saying that the Twins have not had exceptions in moving through the minors. Jesse Crain and Scott Baker are two examples of what I think should be the standard for the Twins, and if you look at their minor league career you can picture how a short season A team would have naturally fit into their path.
      Garza went from Ft. Myers to the big leagues in one year.
      Slowey went from Ft. Myers to Rochester. (same with Baker and Crain) Oh, and Kyle Gibson did too in his first pro season.
      Brian Duensing pitched for Beloit, Ft. Myers and New Britain in the same year. Logan Darnell did that last year.

      The Twins had five of their 2012 draft picks move up to Beloit this year. That's not exactly slow. The guys that didn't were fighting some injury.

      There are a bunch of examples of examples of college pitchers who the Twins have moved up quite quickly. Are they more patient with the toosly hitters? Absolutely. Should they?! Probably not. I'd say their track record with guys like Morneau, Mauer, Kubel, Cuddyer, Span, Revere indicates that they're not exactly hurting their players. Yup, every organization is going to have their Matt Moses, and the jury is still out on Plouffe and Benson and such...
      1. And, the Twins were screwed in the Santana trade. THAT IS THE WHOLE POINT. None of the prospects developed. We over evaluated them BECAUSE the Mets promoted them quickly through their organization. We thought, hey, Guerra is a 18 year old player pitching in A+ ball and holding his own. If he would have been in the Twins system he would have been in the GCL and would not have been a valuable enough piece to include in a major trade. So, yeah, this is a mistake that the Twins made when they were a competitive team.

      2. AS far as your examples, Duensing did move up several levels in a single year. That is true. But that is only part of the story and really only reinforces my point which is that the Twins started him WAY too low in the minor league system to begin with. He should have started his first full season in A+ then moved up to AA that year. By the time he made the major leagues he was 26 years old. Slowey got to the big leagues a little quicker, mainly because he made the Elizabethton to Beloit jump in his short season professional debut. But again, my point is that there is no way Slowey should have ever been in Elizabethton for even an inning. He was an advanced college level arm that should have gone with to Beloit to start or a short season A league to begin the year.

      3. And, the jury being out on Plouffe is an example. He will be 27 years old next season and the jury is still out. I am not blaming the Twins approach for this, but the slow, leisurely approach to prospect development is part of this issue. And, players like Mourneu should have been a Twins regular 2-3 years earlier. There was ZERO reason to have Mourneau start two seasons in New Britain. And, because of his injury and slow minor league development (GCL, GCL, A, A+, AA/AAA) in the end Jason Kubel only played 5 full seasons with the Minnesota Twins. Once he established himself the team could no longer justify spending the money on a 30 year old FA.

      4. I can understand some of this conservatism when the Twins were a playoff level team. But, because of their unwillingness to maximize the trade value of their minor league prospects we never had a fully competitive team that could make it beyond winning the weakest division in the major leagues.

      5. Not that the team is in complete rebuilding mode, there is no reason to be as conservative. We need to get players up to the major league level, get them this high level experience, and continue to develop them there. This article is just an example of how a winning team brought up a prospect that was not even as highly rated as Arcia and got him major league experience. While a team like the Twins, a 95+ loss team over multiple years, continues to wait. He will probably start the season in Rochester and maybe get a whiff of the majors late next year. But, the Twins will then bounce him up and down for at least another year.

      6. Lastly, the Twins need to recognize that they are not a contender and that they are in a total rebuilding mode. Back to back 95+ loss seasons should be a pretty good indication that this is the case. But, I do not think it has sunk in to the teams management. I like Gardenhire, but he is not a development type of manager and does not have enough patience with young players to be what the Twins need over the long run. I said this before the beginning of the year, we need to completely rebuild with the young players at the major league level and we need a staff that is willing to take the lumps and work with them to make them better players. The Twins did it in 1982 and that paid off. They can do it again in 2013. But, pretending we are contenders just pushes the rebuild out. Arcia, Hicks, Parmalee and even Joe Benson should get major ABs next season. Some of these players will make it, others will fail. But the answers are needed to questions that have not been asked.
    1. mlhouse's Avatar
      mlhouse -
      One last note, on Kyle Gibson. The Minnesota Twins absolutely need to put Kyle Gibson in the major league starting rotation next year. They need to give him major league innings and develop him there. The team will not be competitive and they need to evaluate him fully. Gibson will be 25 years old this month. If they play it safe, send him to AA, or even AAA, and bounce him around for a while by the time he can even think about becoming a good major league pitcher he will be 30 years old.
    1. beckmt's Avatar
      beckmt -
      The idea is to bring the players to the big leagues when they are ready, not too early and have their confidence distroyed. That has been the Kansas City approach and see where they have gotten. The only type of player that maybe can be rushed is the relief pitcher, because you can phase him in without putting the pitcher over his head( used in blowout games and graduating to pitching one to two runs behind or 3 or 4 runs ahead.
      Twins may be able to be a contender with 86 - 90 wins, that may not be out of reach with an improved pitching staff and better situational hitting. Twins in the early 80's did not have a nucleus to start from, so rushing prospects was not as great a danger. How many of the Twins youngsters start 2013 in Minnesota will depend on the offseason deals and FA signings. Will have a better idea of how this should go at the end of the year. Failure of the Twins to return to at least .500 will create revenue issues within the next two years.
    1. Top Gun's Avatar
      Top Gun -
      Delmon Young launched a solo homer in Tuesday's win over the Yankees.

      He got the scoring started in the fourth with blast into the left-field bullpen before Miguel Cabrera plated what turned out to be the winning run with an RBI double in the fifth. Young also had a longball in Game 1, driving in three runs in that contest. He now has seven homers in two postseasons for the Tigers, which is a franchise record.
    1. h2oface's Avatar
      h2oface -
      the wartman was 24, not 21, in 2003, so even though he got called up in that situation, i don't know why you feel cuddyer is a good comparison to garcia. if i was a young star that had potential at a early age, i would never ever sign with the twins. they continually make a habit of retarding a young players evolution, and many times, have managed to destroy it.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by h2oface View Post
      the wartman was 24, not 21, in 2003, so even though he got called up in that situation, i don't know why you feel cuddyer is a good comparison to garcia. if i was a young star that had potential at a early age, i would never ever sign with the twins. they continually make a habit of retarding a young players evolution, and many times, have managed to destroy it.
      so, Cuddyer should have not signed as a Top 10 pick by the Twins when he was 17, and instead signed as (maybe) a first-rounder as a 20 year old three years later... Then if he takes the normal steps to the big leagues for a college first round pick, he still doesn't get to the big leagues until he's 23.

      The funny thing is that the Twins have had a lot of successful guys come up and play pretty well. I'm just baffled that there are people who think that it's bad for the player to wait an extra half-season to get called up.
    1. johnnydakota's Avatar
      johnnydakota -
      with david (moe) st pete as da pres. he will never bring up a kid early and let him become a free agent during his peak , thats why they retard a players development by keeping them in the minors for 5-7 years and bring them up at age 25-26 years of age ,its all about the money , as moe says , we needs moe money for jipppys brinks trucks , we need to reduce moe payroll, we need moe kinds of sushi to sell dem fans....its time for all the 3 stooges to go
    1. righty8383's Avatar
      righty8383 -
      Quote Originally Posted by h2oface View Post
      the wartman was 24, not 21, in 2003, so even though he got called up in that situation, i don't know why you feel cuddyer is a good comparison to garcia. if i was a young star that had potential at a early age, i would never ever sign with the twins. they continually make a habit of retarding a young players evolution, and many times, have managed to destroy it.
      I would love to see an example of this. It would be even better if you had some evidence to support it.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Ask the Angels if they regret not having Trout up at the beginning of the year....if the player is ready, they should be up. Not promoting a player to a new level during the year means they "have to" start there and spend some minimum time there the next year.

      To me, the only recent issue I have, since their drafts have been so mediocre, is that college pitchers go and compete against 18 year olds, instead of going to A ball. That does nothing for their growth or the team's understanding of their ability.
    1. Jim Crikket's Avatar
      Jim Crikket -
      I agree that getting college players up to A-ball quicker would be a good thing. However, I wonder if, with the new CBA moving up the calendar on signing draftees, we'll see college pitchers up at A-ball sooner. By signing earlier, yes they may get a few games in rookie leagues to get their feet wet, but they can get to A-ball before the end of the season. A few of the college arms the Twins drafted did end the season with Beloit, for example, and I'm not sure that would have happened if they had signed a month later than they did.

      For whatever reason, the Twins have elected to have essentially two "rookie short season" teams, rather than one rookie and one Class A short season team. If they were to add a Class A short season team, they'd probably want to drop one of the rookie level teams (obviously E'town, since they won't drop their GCL team in Ft Myers) and I don't see that happening any time soon. I believe I read somewhere that the Twins may be part owners of the Elizabethton team, but not sure how accurate that is.

      I'm not sure how much difference it makes whether they keep E'town or replace it with a short season A team, but since several teams don't field short season A teams, obviously the Twins aren't alone in their approach.
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