#33 Humberto Arteaga
Acquired: Signed as International Free Agent on 8/10/10 for $1.1 million
From: Caracas, Venezuela
I'm afraid I won't be able to provide much in the way of ground breaking information on Royals' shortstop Humberto Arteaga. In my mind Arteaga is the second in the new line of million dollar Latin American shortstops that the Royals are attempting to develop. A Royal line that may come to an end with Adalberto Mondesi, thanks to the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.
The Royals say that Arteaga is an extremely advanced fielder for his age, with great range, a strong arm, and quality fundametals. Arteaga's offense also some praise thanks to his smooth line drive swing, with the Royals believing he'll add power as he grows into his 6-1 frame.
At first glance Arteaga's offensive showing in the Arizona League is a bit disappointing. However, once you consider that he played the season at the ripe age of 17 you start to see why the Royals are so high on the prospect. Plus when you really delve into Arteaga's 2011 statistics you find that maybe he wasn't quite as bad as you would have first thought.
Arteaga's line came in at just .254/.291/.321 which considering the hitter friendly environment of the Arizona League doesn't compare favorably with the league average line of .274/.351/.405. But looking closer you'll find that Arteaga's line drive percentage was higher than the league average at 15.3% and his K percentage of only 16.9% was much lower than the average 20.7%.
Based off Arteaga's ability to make contact with the ball in a league comprised of players several years older than him it's hard to not be excited by the potential of the Royals young Venezuelan shortstop. Last season the Royals were aggressive with the first in the Royals line of million dollar Latin American shortstops, when they assigned Orlando Calixte to Kane County. It is possible that the Royals take a similar approach with Arteaga. Likely though I expect Arteaga to spend 2012 in Burlington, NC, or Idaho Falls, ID.