"He's healthy and that's the main thing," manager Carlos Mendoza said. "He's back on the field and playing with confidence. He's worked very hard to get where he's at right now."
In 2010, the Venezuelan-native spent time in both Charleston and Staten Island,
.255 with 8 doubles, two home runs, and 17 RBIs combined between the two levels,
including .314 in 51 at-bats in Charleston. Arcia was only able to play three games
during the 2011 season before sliding into a bag and fracturing his ankle,
forcing him to miss the rest of the year.
"I was disappointed. Every player gets disappointed when they get injured and
have to miss an entire season; but now I am back and good to go."
Arcia has always been known as a strong defensive player and a leader for the
RiverDogs, but it wasn't his defense that impressed the coaches during Spring
"I was very impressed with the way he was swinging the bat," coach Mendoza said.
"He hit 2 or 3 homers with a couple doubles in Spring Training and just watching
him in batting practice -- the balls coming off his bat show he's much stronger.
The strength and conditioning guys have done a great job rehabbing him."
"He had an unbelievable Spring. Over the last few years that he's been here,
he's always put together real good at-bats," batting coach Greg Colbrunn said.
"In the past he would swing the bat okay, but this year in Spring Training he
appears to have gained a lot more strength and bat-speed."
Mendoza acknowledges that the 6-foot, 185 lb. catcher won't be able to perfect
his skills on a daily basis playing behind starting catcher Gary Sanchez, but he
is certain Arcia will still be a huge asset to the team.
"Everybody knows what potential Gary has. He's only 19 years old and he's going
to be an everyday catcher for us," Mendoza explains. "But Arcia plays a big role
with Gary. Even though he's only 22, he's been around long enough to serve kind
of as Gary's mentor and it's really good to have both of them here."
Sanchez, who was named the South Atlantic League Player of the Week twice in
2011, hit .256 with 16 doubles, 17 home runs, and 52 RBIs last season with the
Although Arcia won't be starting for the River Dogs this season, the coaching
staff is still excited to see how he improves and continues to develop as a
"We've never been worried about [Arcia] not being ready to play, because over
the past couple of years he's always been ready," coach Colbrunn said. "The ball
is coming off his bat much crisper than it has in the past and he's starting to
really drive some balls. All he needs to do is continue and maintain what he's
doing and he'll have a great season."
Arcia Back and on the Verge
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