Phil Miller covered three seasons of Twins baseball, but that was at a different ballpark for a different newspaper. Now Miller returns to the baseball beat after joining the Star Tribune as the Gopher football writer in 2010, and he won't miss the dingy dome for a minute. In addition to the Twins and Gophers, Miller covered the Utah Jazz and the NBA for six years at The Salt Lake Tribune.

Facing baseball's stars of tomorrow, Twins prospect proves he belongs

Posted by: Phil Miller under Farm System, MLB Updated: July 8, 2012 - 9:55 PM

KANSAS CITY, MO. -- Twins outfield prospect Oswaldo Arcia faced two of the biggest-name pitchers in minor-league baseball during Sunday’s All-Star Futures Game and didn’t look the least bit overmatched.

Arcia, a Venezuela a native who made the jump from Class A to Class AA last month, lined an RBI double down the right-field line in his first at-bat against Jameson Taillon, the righthander Pittsburgh selected with the No. 2 overall selection in the 2010 draft.

In his second at-bat, Arcia faced Zack Wheeler -- the pitcher the Mets received from the Giants in last year’s Carlos Beltran trade -- and grounded to third base. Tallion’s first pitch to Arcia was clocked at 98-miles per hour. The pitch he put in play against Wheeler was clocked at 97-mph.

Baseball America ranked Tallion as the sport’s 15th best prospect entering the season, with Wheeler at No. 35.

“Every pitcher is good, every pitcher throws hard,” Arcia said of the talent in the Futures Game. His World Team took a 17-5 loss against the U.S. Team before a big crowd at Kauffman Stadium, but it didn’t seem to spoil his experience.

Arcia, 21, who entered the game in the fifth inning, also made some good catches in right field and showed off a strong right arm. He had an elbow injury last season, but you wouldn’t have known it watching his throws Sunday.

A strong lefthanded hitter who is listed at 6-foot, 210 pounds, Arcia has batted .303 with eight homers, 20 doubles, four triples and 45 RBI in 73 combined games this year between Class A and Class AA. He has a .369 on-base percentage and .491 slugging percentage.

He said his English still needs work, but he politely handled a few interviews Sunday. Asked how it felt to be a part of the annual Futures Game, he said, “Wow, I’m happy.”

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