During the off-season in 2019, the Los Angeles Dodgers released minor league infielder Jeremy Arocho, a 27th round draft pick in 2017. Not a terribly curious or unusual personnel decision, unless you took a closer look at Arocho’s vital baseball stats: Just 20 years old, the Maryland high school product slashed .312/.401/.380 at rookie-level Ogden in 2018, and followed that season up with virtually identical numbers, also at Ogden, in 2019.
During the 2019 season, the Dodgers blog had this to say about him: “[One of my favorite Single-A prospects is] 2B Jeremy Arocho (20)… I have no idea why Arocho has not been given the opportunities others have. He is back in the Pioneer League after hitting .313/.401/.380/.781 in 2018. In 2019, he is slashing .387/.587/.419/1.006. So Jeremy has not pouted about being held back. IMO, he deserves a chance at Great Lakes.”
In short: Arocho was young, projectable and statistically successful… not the sort of creature that teams typically release back into the wild. (Mind you, this all went down in November 2019, before the pandemic impelled teams to shed minor league salaries left and right.) Predictably, he was not unemployed for long: The Angels snapped him up that winter, and held onto to him through the pandemic. Here’s a link to a story in a Maryland newspaper in 2020 that describes his off-season regimen as an Angels prospect.
Arocho made his debut as an Angels farmland at low-A Inland Empire last week, and is off to a hot start, with six hits in 15 ABs (.400) and couple stolen bases.
So: Good for us, and him. But inquiring minds would like to know why he was available to sign in the first place. No glove? Unbearable body odor? Qanon? Would love it if someone could shed light.