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2019 Community Prospect Projections: Randy Arozarena

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It’s a pivotal year for Randy Arozarena. How will it go?

MLB: Spring Training-Washington Nationals at St. Louis Cardinals Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Randy Arozarena’s brief career in the Cardinals system has been something of a roller coaster. I’ll let our own A.E. Schafer set the table, in his write-up about him last year, for the early part of Arozarena’s career:

Randy Arozarena defected from Cuba at the end of 2014. Due to difficulties establishing residency and going through all the other steps required of Cuban defectors at the time in order to be able to sign with an MLB club, Arozarena sat out all of 2015. He played a short stint in the Mexican League in 2016, signed with the Cardinals late in the year, and was then pushed straight to Palm Beach to begin 2017, his first season playing in the United States. Oh, and also his first full season since 2014.

Amazingly, despite all of that, the toolsy outfielder racked up a 134 wRC+ and a .275/.333/.472 slash line at high-A Palm Beach in 2017. Given that the Florida State League is usually where power goes to die, Arozarena’s success was enough to open some eyes. He was good enough to earn a mid-season promotion to AA Springfield. There, he held his own- a 115 wRC+ (.252/.366/.380) in the latter half of the 2017 season.

He started 2018 in AAA Memphis, but struggled to a 93 wRC+. On May 3rd, he was sent back to Springield to get right. He demolished AA pitching until May 17th when he returned to Memphis. This turn in Memphis lasted until July 16th and even included an appearance at the All-Star Futures Game in DC, but he produced just a 74 wRC+. The rest of his season was split again between AA and AAA.

Overall in Springfield, he put up absurd numbers in 102 plate appearances- 211 wRC+, .396/.455/.681. In Memphis, he struggled- 81 wRC+, .232/.328/.348- despite showing an improved walk rate.

From a scouting perspective, he has a well-rounded game. He’s a blazer on the bases:

He flashes pop:

And he can play a little defense:

For now, he seems like a classic fourth outfielder- capable of playing all three positions with enough skill to be a late inning replacement on the bases, in the field, or at the plate. If there’s more in the tank, it’s a pivotal year to show it because the organization is flush with outfield depth throughout.

How do you think 2019 will go for Randy Arozarena?