Aeverson Arteaga, SS
BATS: R / THROWS: R
ACQUIRED: International Signing, July 2019
LAST LEVEL: Rookie
GiantFutures 2022 Ranks: #2 Shortstop, #8 Overall
Performance: Arteaga’s pro debut in the Arizona Complex League went about as well as one could expect. Coming into his debut with a much stronger defensive reputation than an offensive one, Arteaga surprised with how effective he was at the plate. He hit .290/.362/.495 across 57 games, and that’s even considering that he petered out over the final three weeks of the year, not surprising for a 18-year old in his first season.
He did that while keeping up things defensively. He played 55 of his 57 games at shortstop, making just nine errors, with one game at third and one game DHing. He added in eight steals on eight attempts.
Strengths and Weaknesses: Arteaga is called a “no-doubt shortstop”, and it’s clear that he won’t have any problems sticking at the position. He has the range, the mechanics, the arm, and the instincts all working together to make for a fluid display on the diamond, and that alone is likely a carrying tool for Arteaga.
At the plate, he is still growing. He’s shown a good skill for contact, but he has a lot of room for his power to grow. He hit seven home runs in the first (real) month of the season, but just two after that. Like many young hitters, Arteaga needs to work on his aggressiveness and become more patient at the plate. But with his defense, Arteaga may not need to have a huge offensive impact to make it as a big leaguer.
2022 Outlook: Low-A San Jose will call, and Arteaga’s goal will be the same as many teens: Getting stronger and staying healthy. He’ll need to work on his offensive skills as well, but there’ll be time for that to grow, once he’s gotten strong enough.
Future Profile: It’s easy to see Arteaga as an everyday shortstop, and his defensive skills make him seem like a more natural heir to Brandon Crawford, but his bat will be the key. Even if he can’t hit enough for that, he’s got more than enough defensive skill to work in a utility role as a floor.