Contrary to popular belief, Erisbel Arruebarrena Contrary to popular belief, Erisbel Arruebarrena

A brief look at the Dodgers’ Erisbel Arruebarrena in the cage

Contrary to popular belief, Erisbel Arruebarrena

Erisbel Arruebarrena’s might be able to hit, someday. (By: Dustin Nosler)

Of course, everyone looks good in a batting cage, but I saw Erisbel Arruebarrena Sunday morning with Dodgers’ hitting coach Mark McGwire instructing him. It was a small sample size (two rounds of McGwire tossing him pitches underhand), but I liked what I saw.

At first glance, Arruebarrena, soon-to-be-24, doesn’t look like a big guy, even if he is listed at 6’1, 200 pounds. But he must have hit the weight room really hard because he has some guns. They aren’t Yasiel Puigian arms, but there are some guns there for sure.

McGwire was instructing him to not let go of the bat during his follow-through, as it decreases his bat speed. But Arruebarrena displayed surprising bat speed and a cleaned-up swing.

He has a high leg kick for his timing mechanism, he loads on his back leg and drives through the pitch with his bat. He won’t be mistaken for Hanley Ramirez anytime soon, but perhaps there’s hope for the latest Dodger multimillionaire.

Here’s a short video of him in the cage.

Admittedly, this video doesn’t look all that great. The second round of hitting in the cage I saw was better than the first (after McGwire talked to him). Arruebarrena doesn’t have to be even an average hitter to be an impact player because of his plus-glove, but this session looked a lot better than I thought it would. Remember, he’s been off from baseball for awhile and had an ugly swing while in Cuba. It looks like McGwire has already helped him in that department, which bodes well for his future.

Despite the high leg kick, Arruebarrena still has an upper-body dominant swing. He could presumably generate more bat speed if he incorporates his bottom-half, but he’s yet to do so. He puts his front leg down quickly, which leads to the arm swing. There’s a long way to go, but there’s at least a glimmer of hope.

Jose Vizcaino compared Arruebarrena to longtime infielder Tony Fernandez. If Arruebarrena could be even half of what Fernandez was (43.5 career WAR), the Dodgers will have hit on yet another international signee.

He might not play in minor-league games while the Dodgers are in Australia, as they’re more worried about getting him into game shape. But he’s in good physical shape as it is, so maybe he will see the back fields this week. If not, it’s likely off to Double-A for him.


About

Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin’ Kinda Blue. He co-hosts a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called “Dugout Blues.” He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a 1-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, Calif., and has yet to be shot.


798 comments
Tired Math Cat
Tired Math Cat

aww, i missed baseball. but i also needed sleep.

Barney (Not Darwin)
Barney (Not Darwin)

The Australian team's players are walking through the concourse on their way to the field. It's like adult league baseball at a local park.

KMT59
KMT59

Night All

Jenkystream (vipbox) is showing the game tonight...not for me

DBrim
DBrim moderator

Was working on math for next article, then realized it was 1AM. Oops. Goodnight.

MFYG
MFYG

hey, I don't look good in the batting cage.

Omer (beercoozie)
Omer (beercoozie)

I test drove a couple of Mazdas and a Volkswagen last weekend. I did not like the Volkswagen, but I liked the Mazdas.

Maybe I should buy a boat...

KMT59
KMT59

Just realized they aren't showing the game tonight...I'm not staying up to listen to it

But they are showing it on a jenkystream

Hoze
Hoze

@LA_Woman  so tonight's game is on mlb.tv. Time to get the coffee ready

Boxxybabee
Boxxybabee

@steelmohawk  It started getting back up to the 60s and 70s this week in Houston. The summer is gonna kill me.

ThtsaPaddlin
ThtsaPaddlin

@efb @ThtsaPaddlin  I think the one on the left looks more like a characterized whale. Or a goldfish cracker. I've been contemplating life's deeper meanings.

DBrim
DBrim moderator

@steelmohawk @DBrim  The espn australia option is under tomorrow's feeds but it might be blacked out.

steelmohawk
steelmohawk

@DBrim @steelmohawk  yeah I thought ESPN used to be blacked out, it will be interesting to see if ESPN dot com has the video streaming, and if ESPN aussie will let different countries streeam (or if they even have streaming)