Is Cam Maron a better prospect than Travis d’Arnaud?

Is Cam Maron a better prospect than Travis d’Arnaud? A recent PECOTA ranking of prospects on Baseball Prospectus thinks so.

Andrew Koo at Baseball Prospectus revives Nate Silver’s old PECOTA Takes on Prospects series. PECOTA’s top 100 ranked Maron as the No. 80 prospect. Four spots later, d’Arnaud shows up. Checking in at No. 95? Noah Syndergaard.

Up near the top, PECOTA has Kevin Plawecki at No. 11. Rafael Montero is No. 37 and Steven Matz No. 63.

[sny-editorial userid="tobyhyde"]This list is awful. His system clearly values high-on base catchers, but to an extreme degree. It’s almost like he transposed a digit in his spreadsheet on catcher value.

For example, the system loves Plawecki. Plawecki is a nice prospect, and a consensus Top 12 guy in the Mets system, but not all of baseball. (On Mets’ lists, Keith Law at ESPN had him No. 6, Baseball Prospectus No. 8, Baseball America No. 5, MLB.com  No. 7 and 11 in my Top 41). After beating up on the SAL in the first half of 2013 (.314/.390/.494 with 24 doubles, and six home runs in 65 games), Plawecki’s power fell off in advanced Single-A in the second half (.294/.391/.392, 14 2B, 2 HR in 60 G).

Further down the list, Baseball Prospectus has d’Arnaud, who is currently starting for the Mets, four places behind Maron, who is repeating advanced Single-A St. Lucie. D’Arnaud was my No. 2 prospect, the consensus No 2 prospect in the Mets system and a regular on Top 100 lists this year. I did not have Maron in my Top 41 this year coming off a .235/.327/.295 performance in 2013 in St. Lucie at age 22.

In his age 22 season, d’Arnaud hit .311/.371/.542 in 114 games with 33 doubles and 21 home runs with New Hampshire in the Eastern League in the Blue Jays’ system. Maron has 10 home runs in six professional seasons. Since then, d’Arnaud has struggled with injuries, but hit when he’s played, mostly at Triple-A. Maron did not make my Top 41, Baseball America’s Top 30 or any other major ranking of Mets prospects.

D’Arnaud has the receiving ability and arm to be a strong defensive backstop. Yes, he’s off to a slow start in the big leagues, but he has the ability – bat speed, strength and power – to be a productive MLB hitter. How does the system looks at these two players and decide that Maron has more upside than d’Arnaud?

We focused on the Mets guys here, but there’s weird stuff all over the rankings.[/sny-editorial]

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