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Arcia relishes Futures Game experience

KANSAS CITY -- With injury often comes fear. When Twins outfield prospect Oswaldo Arcia injured his right elbow a year ago, requiring surgery, the natural reaction was to wonder what type of player he would be upon returning.

Arcia has since used his bat to erase any doubts about his ability to perform at the same level he did in the past. Minnesota has taken notice, but so have other Major League baseball evaluators. Look no further than Arcia's selection to the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Games for evidence.

"Thankfully," Arcia said, "I kept doing things the way I was doing them from the get-go, and things turned out well."

Arcia came off the bench for the World Team in a 17-5 loss to the United States on Sunday at Kauffman Stadium, the host site for the Futures and All-Star Games. In the showcase event, Arcia contributed an RBI double off Pirates pitching prospect Jameson Taillon in the sixth inning and then grounded out in the ninth.

This season, Arcia has shown he still has promise as a power-hitting prospect.

The Twins sent Arcia -- a right fielder for the bulk of his professional career -- to high Class A Fort Myers to begin this season, after the outfielder ended last year with the same affiliate. It was a chance for the 21-year-old prospect to prove that he deserved to be moved up the organizational ladder.

"We started him at Fort Myers and told him to play his way out of there," said Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony. "And he did. He went out and played well and played hard."

In 55 games with Fort Myers, the left-handed-hitting Arcia posted a .309 average with an .893 on-base plus slugging percentage. He clubbed seven homers with 16 doubles, three triples, 22 runs scored and 31 RBIs before being promoted to Double-A New Britain.

Not long after being moved up, Arcia learned of his selection to the World Team's roster.

"I feel really happy, gratified, that they gave me that opportunity," said Arcia, who is from Anaco, Venezuela. "They promoted me from high A, and within two days of being there, they told me the news. I'm really happy, emotional. I'm going to give it 100 percent to represent my team and to represent Venezuela."

Since moving up to Double-A, Arcia has hit .286 with a .760 OPS, collecting one homer, four doubles, 14 RBIs and 16 runs in the process. Overall this season, the outfielder has hit .303 with a .369 on-base percentage and a .491 slugging percentage in 73 games.

It has been a solid comeback showing for Arcia.

"When he's healthy, he can hit," Antony said. "He's got power. He's fine in the outfield. He's got a strong arm."

That last remark is encouraging, considering Arcia had surgery on his right arm last May and missed two months as a result.

Following a breakout showing in 2010, when Arcia hit .375 with 14 homers and 51 RBIs in 64 games with Elizabethton in the Rookie League, he was limited because of the elbow injury in 2011. Even so, in his 81 games between three affiliates, Arcia hit .291 with 13 home runs and 51 RBIs.

"It was going really well," Arcia said of his early showing last year. "But my elbow was bothering me a lot. I had to go into surgery for my elbow, but I did the best rehab I could for two months."

Arcia has bounced back just fine, as his Futures Game selections shows.

"It's a nice reward for him," Antony said. "It's good to get recognition."

Oswaldo Arcia