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The Atlanta Braves Should Expect More of the Same from Orlando Arcia in 2024.

Orlando Arcia is making the most of his opportunity - Battery Power

How Orlando Arcia got to his 2023 numbers with the Atlanta Braves might have some worried, but in the end, he proved to be what he’s always been.

How Orlando Arcia got to his 2023 numbers with the Atlanta Braves might have some worried, but in the end, he proved to be what he’s always been.

Many questioned the decision to go with Orlando Arcia as the team’s shortstop to begin 2023, but as I noted in that linked article, it was always the safest route and a move that wouldn’t hurt the team.

That proved to be true as Arcia was solid pretty much all year long and finished with numbers we’ve seen from him before. Like with Bryce Elder on the pitching side, some may have gotten fooled by the hot start from Arcia and the All-Star Game appearance – thinking he was suddenly something he’s not.

At the end of the day, he slashed .264/.321/.420 with 17 home runs and an OPS+ of 98.

Arcia was an average offensive player hitting at the bottom of a very good lineup. That’s what we should have expected coming into the year and what we should expect going forward if he remains the team’s starting shortstop.

Perhaps 2023 was the ceiling from Arcia — his .246 xBA and .398 xSLG certainly indicate that’s the case. But the floor still remains solid as a slightly below-average offensive player and slightly above-average defender.

There are a couple of areas that Arcia has improved on with the Braves that have helped make him an everyday player again.


In his final seasons with Milwaukee Arcia had lost a step defensively and turned more into an average defender at shortstop.

But this past year he had a Run Value of plus-three.

It’s not as if Arcia will win a Gold Glove anytime soon as he was slightly above average in both range and arm strength ranking 12th in OAA and 8th in arm strength among qualified shortstops.

Making things happen': How Braves' Orlando Arcia has revitalized his career  in Atlanta | Sporting News

FanGraphs defensive rating put him 11th out of 20 qualified shortstops, so he was certainly middle of the pack defensively.

He made the plays that needed to be made and certainly didn’t hurt the Braves defensively.

Something to consider is how much of an impact Ron Washington had on Arica and if that now takes a step back with him gone — and it’s not like Arcia is getting any quicker.

Hard Contact

The other area of his game he’s seen take a step up since joining the Braves is the hard contact rate.

His 17 home runs in 2023 were a career-high, but he hit 15 in 2017 and 2019 so he’s been in that range before.

However, never before have we seen him finish with a HardHit% over 40 percent like we have the last two seasons with the Braves.

Arcia started to show that trend in 2020 with the Brewers when he had a .428 xSLG in the shortened season. The Braves saw that, made the move for him early in 2021, and have taken it to the next level.

This doesn’t mean we should ignore the second-half slide – there were concerns that with Arcia playing every day again, he might get exposed.

In the first half of 2023, he slashed .294/.345/.424 with 7 home runs. Then in the second half, he slashed .235/.297/.416 with 10 home runs. As you look to project what Arcia could be in 2024, he’s likely in between those two slash lines with 15-20 home runs if he plays 130-plus games again.

A quality defender and average hitter with a little bit of pop is who Arcia has proven to be through his career, and is likely who he will be again for the Braves in 2024.

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