Since this is the mid-season write-up, it's just a quick overview of the player. When we get to the preseason re ranking in the offseason, they'll be a lot more involved.
Stats are current as of 8/4/2019.
All write-ups were published during all-star week.
Prospect #6: OF Randy Arozarena
Signed in August of 2016
The only responsible way to handle this is to post a lot of gif's of Randy within this write-up. It's been a lot of fun to see Cardinals' fans on Twitter call so loudly for his promotion to the majors.
If you'll remember, Randy was one of the better prospects during spring training. Then, right at the end of spring training, he broke his hand. This cost Randy the first month of the minor league season. BUT, unlike with most prospects that would be ticketed to miss significant time, we were actually fine with it. Remember, we thought that Randy needed a little bit of rest from competitive baseball. After all, he had been playing it without a break since before the 2016 season.
I am happy to report that after a down 2018 year, Randy has, indeed, rediscovered his 2017 form. It's amazing what fatigue can do to a player.
The version of Randy Arozarena that we are seeing right now is a smart hitter. He knows how to handle his swing during specific counts, and he knows how to work a count to get the pitch that he wants. This version of Randy Arozarena is the type of hitter that will take the 0-2 breaking pitch on the outside edge from a right-hander to the opposite field. He's a hitter that will work the count to 2-1 with the intent of driving the ball. He's the hitter that will drive the ball in a 2-1 count, as well.
Randy is back to being the hitter with no wasted motion in his swing, and a bat-path meant for the gaps and surprise power. It's a direct little swing and his head doesn't move, and it's quick and adaptive enough to adjust on the fly. Just like we mentioned in his preseason write-up, Randy is still murdering left-handed pitching. This is a skill that will never go away, for him. Also worth mentioning, is that, right now, Randy has his all-fields swing working in full throttle. This is how you know that he's zoned in.
The good news is, Randy's damage isn't limited to lefties like it largely was during 2018. In 178 plate appearances against right-handed pitchers, Randy has hit 335/421/503 with four home runs and 12 additional extra-base hits. Randy is also striking out less than he ever has against righties, checking in right around the 19% mark between AA and AAA.
All of this is to say that Randy has taken the next step in his development. I have to believe that the rest that he received at the beginning of this season is helping to drive the developmental steps that he's taken.This is a young man who has to play during the offseason to support his family. It's hard to support a family, let-alone yourself, when you are making what minor leaguers make. It's nice to see him put it back together, while stepping forward, at the plate. He finally seems to have settled on a batting stance, as well.
In the field, not much has changed, really. He can still handle center field. A lot has been made about the amount of time that he is getting in center, currently. Mr. Mozeliak says that this is by designed, in an effort to see how he handles the position on a daily basis before potentially getting the call to the majors.
Other than that, it's business as usual. He still has a very good arm. He's still best suited for a corner outfield spot. He sometimes gets spun around out in the outfield, regardless of where he's playing. He still has a flare for finding and making the tough play. No surprise, all of these things apply on the base paths, as well. Every so often, Randy will make a dumb base-running blunder like sliding past a bag or rounding too aggressively, only to have the ball be thrown behind for the out. Then, he'll do something amazing like turn a single into a double on a little outfield blooper. Randy is a well above-average runner, and this is clear on the bases. He's gonna motor from first to third or from first to home, and we are all going to be talking about his wheels. It's just, every once and a while it's also going to get weird.
Randy is on the cusp of the majors. He could help the big league club right now, and I have no doubt about that. This Gerardo Parra-type outfielder can flat make things happen.
Yes, Randy keeps raking. He's hit for the cycle. He's hit for power. He's done everything that you'd want a leadoff hitter to do. Yet, still no major league debut. It's be fun to see if the Cardinals can find a spot on the 40-man for the hottest prospect in their organization.
Thanks to Fangraph for the stats!
Thanks For Reading!!