Scouting Report: Francisco Arcia

Arcia is an excellent catch-and-throw backstop

The Yankees signed 16-year old catcher Francisco Arcia out of Venezuela as part of their 2006 'July 2nd Signing Day' class. An athletic backstop, the Yankees like Arcia's abilities behind the plate and they believe he has the chance to develop into a solid catching prospect. Here's a scouting report on Francisco Arcia.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Francisco Arcia
Position: Catcher
DOB: September 14, 1989
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 170
Bats: Left
Throws: Right

"I'm really proud to be with the Yankees," Arcia told us through the help of Livio Oleaga translating. "My father always wanted me to be with the Yankees."

"He's a left-handed hitting catcher with real good catching ability and good contact hitting ability," Yankees' Latin America Coordinator Carlos Rios told us upon signing Arcia. "We signed him for $65,000 and he's got normal 16-year old projection to him.'

Not physically imposing, and considering his plus defensive ability behind the plate, Arcia resembles former Yankees' catching prospect Jesus Sanchez who was traded last season to the Philadelphia Phillies in the Bobby Abreu deal.

"I play excellent defense," a confident Arcia told us. "I feel really comfortable doing everything and I'm just trying to get better and better. I just think I need to get physically bigger and stronger. I want to put on some weight, but as far as my game itself, everything else is pretty good."

While he wants add some muscle mass to his slender frame in the coming years to help with the daily grind of a physically demanding position, he is already very athletic and displays quick footwork.

"Blocking balls in the dirt and my arm," he listed as the biggest strengths of his defensive game, "and offensively, I can hit for average, I have some speed, and occasional power."

Batting and Power. Arcia is a good left-handed hitting gap hitter with an extremely patient approach at the plate. Despite being so young, and considering his lack of professional experience, his approach at the plate is very advanced. He has the look of a high-average hitter who will draw many walks with good on-base percentages. More of a doubles hitter at the current time, he is very skinny right now and the hope is as he puts on weight over the years his power game will develop further. He has the type of frame that could put on weight.

Base Running and Speed. Arcia isn't your normal catcher. He is very athletic with quick feet and he could become a factor on the base paths. While he doesn't possess the speed of a top base stealer, his speed does rank as above average for his position. He has the ability to reach double-digit stolen bases should the opportunities present themselves.

Defense. Arcia has the potential to be the complete package defensively. He has a strong and accurate arm, and with his solid footwork, he gets a quick release on his throws to second base. He is adept at blocking balls in the dirt and once the language barrier is no longer an issue, the Yankees believe his baseball intelligence will allow him to work well with his pitchers.

Projection. Arcia is a projection prospect whose game could hinge on how he physically matures. Very skinny upon signing, he has reportedly already put on twelve pounds as he gets ready for his first year of professional baseball, a good sign of things to come. His patient approach at the plate, gap hitting, and defensive abilities could give him the chance to develop into a left-handed hitting version of Jason Kendall in his prime, perhaps with a little more power if he can get physically stronger.

ETA. 2012. Where Arcia begins his professional career - either in the Gulf Coast League or the Dominican Summer League - depends on where the Yankees start Jesus Montero. The smart bet is seeing Arcia help the Dominican Summer League Yankees defend their run of two straight championships in 2007 and he'll probably need four seasons in the United States after that before he's ready for the big leagues. Recommended Stories

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