Brewers want Arcia to learn watching Andrus

Rookie shortstop still getting on-the-job training in Majors

Brewers want Arcia to learn watching Andrus

ARLINGTON -- "Comping players is really dangerous," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said right off the top. But here's one he was willing to discuss anyway: Orlando Arcia and Elvis Andrus.

Not in the way those shortstops play, said Counsell and first-base coach Carlos Subero, a fellow Venezuelan who managed both players in the Minor Leagues. But in the way they think about the game.

"Andrus was 18 when I had him at High-A Bakersfield," said Subero, who was reminded of the similarities when the Brewers played the Rangers in an Interleague Series that concluded on Wednesday. "We just got him from the Mark Teixeira trade, and from Day No. 1, he played fearless."

Fearless?

"First day after he gets in, it's a day game in Visalia," Subero said. "First runner gets on a walk. Second runner gets on on a walk, so it's first and second, nobody out. [Andrus] knows nobody on the field. But he comes up to the pitcher, tells him something, and next thing you know, it goes strikeout, ground-ball double play, inning over. He goes into the dugout and he's saying, 'I told you! Give me a ground ball!'

"Remember, Andrus knows nobody in that dugout. I went up to him and said in Spanish, do you know this guy? He says, 'No, I don't need to know him. We're teammates.' This kid was 18. That was Andrus."

When he managed Arcia at Double-A Biloxi last season, Subero saw the same savvy.

"It's like having 10 eyes. They see everything," Subero said. "That's why this week is fun. I get to see both of them on the same field."

Said Counsell: "It's a great series for Orlando to watch that guy's energy on the field and how he goes about it. That's a really good player for Orlando to watch."

Arcia was two days shy of his 22nd birthday and ranked 13th on MLBPipeline.com's list of baseball's top prospects when the Brewers promoted him on Aug. 2 in the wake of the non-waiver Trade Deadline. The thinking was that a two-month trial in the Majors will help Arcia in 2017, when he is the club's Opening Day shortstop.

In his first 51 games and 199 plate appearances, Arcia slashed .217/.276/.348.

"I think it's important that we got him started," Counsell said. "When we sit down with Orlando at the end of the year, we'll go over everything. You can't teach what happens here; he's got to experience it."

"Everybody thinks that when you get to the big leagues, it's a finished product," Subero said. "But no, what the big leagues do is finish that product. I don't think Triple-A was going to give him what the big leagues have given him, forcing him to make adjustments. Understand that this is the cleanest baseball of any level. The one that has a fruitful career is able to make those adjustments. This is the first time Orlando is going through struggle, and he is learning a lot about himself."

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.