Arcia offers spectacular glimpse of what's ahead

Brewers top prospect shines at shortstop in Futures Game

Arcia offers spectacular glimpse of what's ahead

CINCINNATI -- Shortstop Orlando Arcia and his Double-A Biloxi teammates opened the season on a 54-game road trip, covering 3,000 miles and eight cities while waiting for construction on their home park to be completed.

The nomadic experience ended on June 6, when baseball returned to Biloxi for the first time since 1908. However, Arcia best not get comfortable in his new home, as it seems just another temporary stop on the prospect's continued climb.

The Brewers showcased their top talent in Sunday's SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game at Cincinnati's Great American Ball Park, with Arcia serving as the club's lone representative in the exhibition affair. Arcia played for the World Team, which lost, 10-1, to the U.S. Team. His older brother, Oswaldo Arcia, participated in the Futures Game three years ago in Kansas City and has spent time with the Twins.

Orlando Arcia, 20, entered the game in the sixth and popped out in a pinch-hit at-bat. He also struck out in the eighth, but dazzled defensively when he gloved a grounder by Brandon Nimmo and made a spinning throw to retire the Mets prospect as the first out in the bottom of the eighth.

Afterward, the Venezuelan native said that the experience "meant a great deal. I've been working all season to do well, and to get to this point is really great."

Arcia ranks as the Brewers' top prospect and No. 73 on MLB.com's top 100 list and has drawn comparisons to the last stud shortstop to ascend through the Brewers' organization, Alcides Escobar. While the defensive tools -- strong arm, soft hands and above-average range -- have long been Arcia's calling card, he has developed his offensive game so as not to be considered a defensive-only prospect.

After hitting .251/.314/.333 in 2013, his first year playing for a stateside affiliate, Arcia entered the Futures Game with a .313/.355/.458 slash line through 80 Double-A games this season.

"I haven't found the transition too difficult because they prepared me very well," Arcia said. "Every time they move you, they put a focus on preparing you. I'm just guarding the plate better and swinging at better pitches."

The Brewers don't feel pressed to promote Arcia -- "Double-A baseball is of high-enough caliber now that it's still a challenge for him," Milwaukee assistant general manager Gord Ash said -- but with a strong finish to the Minor League season, Arcia could set himself up for his biggest promotion yet.

Milwaukee will have to add Arcia to its 40-man roster in November to keep him from being exposed in the Rule 5 Draft. Ash acknowledged that the Brewers would consider making roster room for him a few months earlier if there were an opportunity for him to get some playing time in September.

"It's my dream to keep moving up and get to Milwaukee," Arcia said. "I'm thinking about it all the time. Thinking about it gives me more confidence and motivation."

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.