PP 2004 Scouting Report: SS, Joaquin Arias

The New York Yankees assigned shortstop Joaquin Arias to the Gulf Coast League Yankees after playing out the 2001 season on the Yankees Dominican Summer League team. He played for nearly a year with the Yankees Dominican team impressing scouts with his raw power and with his overall exciting style of play. Arias then signed for $300,000 after living in poverty as a child. When joining the Gulf Coast League, he was an immediate hit with his sparkling defensive skills and his live bat.

Vital Statistics;
Name: Joaquin Arias
Position: Shortstop
DOB: September 21, 1984
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 175
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Place of Residence: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
How Acquired: Assigned to the Gulf Coast League Yankees in 2002 after playing a full season for the Yankees Dominican Summer League team.

The day that Joaquin Arias showed up at a tryout in the Dominican Republic when he was only 16 years of age there were few scouts or coaches that even gave him a chance. He was a skinny 140 pound kid in their eyes and they barely gave him an opportunity to bat. However, did he ever prove them wrong. Once he got his chance Arias showed his raw power that could be recognized just by the thundering sound of his bat when he connected. His athleticism was considered outstanding by scouts while he flashed some great leather at shortstop and in a matter of only a short time Arias went from a tryout afterthought to a highly thought of prospect in the Yankee organization.

After an impressive tryout performance, the organization kept Arias for obvious reasons and he played out the 2001 season playing for the Yankees Dominican Summer League team. The Yankees made their next move by signing Arias to 300,000 dollars and assigning him to the Gulf Coast Yankees for the 2002 season. This was an unthinkable sum for a player that grew up living on a dirt floor with no furniture.

Arias put together a solid rookie campaign in the Gulf Coast in 2002 by batting an even .300, scoring 29 runs and driving 21. One stat that also stands out as an indication of the speed that Arias possesses is that he had 6 triples. This stat is compiled in only 57 games! Most major league players do not even reach this total in a 162 game season.

Deservedly so, Arias was promoted to Battle Creek for the 2003 season and picked up right where he left off. He became a solid player for the team all season long while developing into a spectacular defender in the field. Early in the season Arias had some struggles with the glove though, making some more of the difficult plays but struggling to make the simpler ones. However, he later settled down and played fairly solid defense considering his very young age. Arias batted .266 with 3 home runs and 48 RBI's while scoring an impressive 60 runs mostly out of the number 2 slot in the lineup. Once again, Arias also led the team with a total of 8 triples and also hitting an impressive .341 with runners in scoring position. He also put up an amazing 39 multi hit games during 2003 as well.

Battle Creek was also the place where Joaquin Arias earned the nickname "spiderman." Teammates began calling him it because of some of the spectacular plays that he made in the field and became well known for his body control at shortstop. Scouts now call him not only "spiderman" but the best defensive and possibly offensive shortstop in the Yankee farm system.















Battle Creek













GCL Yankees












* Stats as of 9/7/03

Batting and Power. Despite the fact that Arias has not shown great power in his early years as a Yankee prospect, scouts believe that he has the potential to develop into a decent power hitter as he gets a little more matured. For now he is still a good gap to gap hitter and as shown in his statistics, that will serve him very well in the extra base hits category with the type of speed that he has. Even if his power never truly develops, Arias is still bound to be a fairly effective hitter on the major league level.

Base Running and Speed. Arias has always been known throughout his young career as being a speedy and highly athletic player. He is a very aggressive base runner which once again, allows him to be so adept a hitting triples. Improvement is still required in his base running game, however, and scouts say that he needs to become a slightly better base stealer as he gets older which he has not quite mastered just yet. On the other hand, Arias is still only 19 years old and many scouts believe that this is only yet another result of youth and inexperience and that you can expect Arias to become a very consistent base stealing threat.

Defense. Even at his very young age, Arias has already become very well known as a very flashy and spectacular defender. Despite his high error total of last season, Arias is still well known for having an above average arm and above average defense and athleticism. Also, the nickname "spiderman" didn't come out of nowhere either. His teammates nicknamed him that because of his incredible body control and the spectacular plays at shortstop.

Projection. At this point, the sky is the limit for Joaquin Arias and scouts have said that he possesses all five tools to be a major league star. However, he may be in need for either a position change or an organizational change to be able to reach stardom at the major league level because of a certain man named Derek Jeter that mans shortstop for the Bronx Bombers and it doesn't seem as if Mr. Jeter is going anywhere anytime soon.

ETA. Late 2006/2007. This all depends on how the Yankees want to play this one, if they want to rush him or take it very slow and let him develop. It seems likely that he will start at Tampa next season and he could get promoted to Trenton by late season. Then, in all likelihood, he will play his entire 2005 season with Trenton and his 2006 campaign with Columbus with a slight possibility of a September call up. However it seems much more likely that his big league debut will come in 2007. The organization must remember how young he is and that there is absolutely no reason to rush this rising star to the majors.


2003 Team

Erick Almonte

AAA - Columbus Clippers

Deivi Mendez

AAA - Columbus Clippers

Andy Cannizaro

AA - Trenton Thunder

J.T. Stotts AA - Midland Rockhounds
Ferdin Tejada A - Tampa Yankees
Joaquin Arias A - Battle Creek Yankees
Hector Made R - GCL Yankees


Currently, the organization doesn't have an immediate impact player that could step in and do the job. Joaquin Arias will end up being the most polished player, with a few that may end up being solid utility infielders. Most of these guys will either switch positions or end up being traded in deals.

1.) Erick Almonte - Almonte hasn't developed into the heir apparent to Derek Jeter as he was once thought that he could be. Almonte hasn't improved upon his fielding skills or his power, If he wants a starting position, it certainly isn't going to be with the New York Yankees.

2.) Deivi Mendez - Mendez is still stuck behind Erick Almonte for the starting job in Columbus and it doesn't appear that he will be taking it anytime soon. He is in the same category as Almonte. Could be a good player but needs to find another organization.

3.) Andy Cannizaro - Cannizaro could have a decent future as a possible utility player in any organization. he has been consistent and plats fairly solid defense as well. Needs some improvement with the bat but is still adequate and should be improving as he continues to mature.

4.) J.T. Stotts - Acquired in the deal that sent left-handed reliever Chris Hammond to Oakland, Stotts, 23, has a knack for getting on base and utilizing his speed. Much like Tejada, he doesn't project for much power but plays solid defense. In the A's system during 2003, he split the year between high Class A Modesto and Double-A Midland, hitting .293 with 2 homers, 51 RBIs, and 15 steals in 121 games. Could be a sleeper in the system.

5.) Ferdin Tejada - Excellent defensive player that sprays the ball, uses his speed, and does the fundamentals. Needs to improve from the left-side of the plate. Little power. Needs to get stronger and continue to mature.

6.) Joaquin Arias - Arias has been touted by some scouts as the gem of the farm system. He is a tremendous fielder but needs to work on his consistency on routine plays. Has a very good bat and could even develop into a better power hitter as he matures as well. A possible 5 tool player.

7.) Hector Made - Made showed a lot of tools in 2003 that not many young players have these days. He showed very good plate discipline along with decent power. Has a solid glove at shortstop with a lightly above average arm. Next season, he could be right in there with Arias, battling for the rights as best Shortstop in the farm system.

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