Braves: Comparing Orlando Arcia to the star NL East shortstops

Braves Arcia

Coming into the season, the shortstop position was thought to be one of the biggest holes on the roster, but Orlando Arcia has eased those concerns in a big way. He’s been unbelievable to start the season and is even performing far better than some of the star shortstops within the division.

Orlando Arcia

2023 Stats: .342/.405/.592, 169 wRC+, 1.1 fWAR (22 games)

What’s wild about Arcia is he has produced 1.1 fWAR over just 22 games. He missed nearly half of the season with a micro-fracture in his wrist, and he’s arguably been the most valuable shortstop in the entire division. His defense has been spectacular, but it’s the improved offense that is making him the biggest bargain in baseball.

Remember, the Braves signed him to a three-year extension at the start of the season for just $7.3 million. If he can be the team’s starting shortstop at that price, Alex Anthopoulos might need two statues outside of Truist Park when he retires instead of one.

Arcia’s offense has long been the sore spot in his game, but something seems to have clicked since he arrived in Atlanta. He posted a career-high 104 wRC+ last season for the Braves in 68 games with Ozzie Albies sidelined, and he’s well on his way to eclipsing that in 2023. Regression is undoubtedly in line, but he’s proving to be a starting-caliber MLB shortstop, which is all the Braves could have hoped for coming into the season.

Trea Turner

2023 Stats: .262/.308/.399, 88 wRC+, 0.8 fWAR (43 games)

Raise your hand if you had Orlando Arcia being more than twice as valuable as Tre Turner on a per game basis? Turner is one of the best offensive players in baseball, but he hasn’t performed like it since inking a $300 million with the Phillies. Turner’s actually been more valuable defensively than he has with the stick, which is silly, considering he’s never been a terrific defensive shortstop. I don’t expect Turner’s sluggish start to be indicative of what’s to come in Philadelphia, but it’s funny nonetheless that he’s been way less productive than Arcia to this point in the season.

Francisco Lindor

2023 Stats: .229/.309/.418, 104 wRC+, 1.4 fWAR

Lindor is always going to rack up WAR because of his outstanding defense at the shortstop position, but his bat has lagged behind early in the season. He’s only hitting .229 with six homers. His paltry .280 batting average on balls in play suggests positive regression is coming, but he’s another MVP candidate coming into the season that Arcia has been better than through the first quarter of the season.

Photo: Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire


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