Top 41: #2 – C Travis d’Arnaud

Travis d'Arnaud Spring Training 2014Bats/Throws: Right/Right
Height/Weight: 6’2”, 210 lbs
Acquired: In trade with Blue Jays with Noah Syndergaard, Wuilmer Becerra and John Buck for R.A. Dickey, Mike Nickeas and Josh Thole
Born: 2/10/89 (Long Beach, CA)
Stats
Why Ranked Here: Travis d’Arnaud is ready to be a Major League contributor now. d’Arnaud should not be here. In a perfect world for the Mets, d’Arnaud would have played a few months in AAA in 2013 and replaced John Buck sometime mid-summer when the Mets traded away Buck into prospects via trade.

 

Instead, d’Arnaud was hurt again, missing significant time for the third time in four years. A foul tip broke the first metatarsal bone in his foot on April 17, 2013. In 2012, d’Arnaud played only 67 games while missing the second half of the year after tearing the PCL in his knee trying to break up a double-play with Las Vegas. He was healthy in 2011. In 2010, back problems limited d’Arnaud to 71 games with advanced-A Dunedin.

 

I have few questions about d’Arnaud’s skills. At the plate, he has vicious bat speed. Over two years in Vegas, he hit a combined .328/.402/.588 in 86 games. Sure, he’s playing in Las Vegas, in the PCL, but those are big time numbers. There’s power. When he’s dialed in, he can scorch balls to the rightcenter field gap. He can become too pull-conscious, and end up rolling over pitches resulting in too many groundouts to middle infielders. Coming into 2013, the only hiccup in d’Arnau’s profile was his aggressive approach – he walked in 6.3% of his plate appearances in AAA in 2012. In 2013, he drew 21 walks in 19 games in AAA, an almost silly 27% walk rate in 78 PA. Sure, that’s small sample size stuff and all, but I view it as evidence that he is coachable, and can make a change when prompted.

 

Defensively, he has the tools as well. His arm is strong, and his release is quick enough to throw out 30% of opposing base stealers in Vegas in 2012. He’s a fine receiver, who was reallyreally good framing pitches in small samples in 2013 with an average or better arm for a catcher.

 

Projection systems from Oliver, Steamer, ZiPS and PECOTA put d’Arnaud in a pretty narrow range of .241/.307/.392 to .254/.320/.414 for 2014. The top range of those estimates put him battling to join the five National League catchers in the group behind Yadier Molina and Buster Posey. Really.
2013:  I’m not sure whether there is much statistically to be gathered from Travis d’Arnaud’s 2013, his age 24 season. He began the year by hitting .250/.429/.472 in 12 games in Las Vegas with 12 walks and six extra-base hits before he broke his foot. His game rehab began in the GCL on July 24 and transferred to AA Binghamton on July 31. He mashed in AAA for a week beginning on August 9 and after going 8-for-20 (.400) with three doubles and a homer, nine walks and four strikeouts in seven games, earned his MLB debut on August 17th when the Mets visited the Padres.

He admitted he was “anxious” in the big leagues in 2013.
Dr. Pangloss Says: Top three catcher in the National League in 2014 and multi-time All-Star in his career.
Debbie Downer Says: He never learns to stay healthy long enough to leverage his considerable talent.  
Projected 2014 Start: Catching Dillon Gee (!) on Opening Day
MLB Arrival: 2013

 

Recent Stats

[sny-table rowheader=true columnheader=true]

;G;AB;H;2B;3B;HR;BB;SO;AVG;OBP;SLG;

2011 AA;114;424;132;33;1;21;33;100;.311;.371;.542;

2012 AAA;67;279;93;21;2;16;19;59;.333;.380;.595;

2013 GCL;6;22;7;3;0;0;1;2;.318;.348;.455;

2013 AA;7;27;6;2;1;1;3;9;.222;.300;.481;

2013 AAA;19;56;17;8;0;2;21;12;.304;.487;.554;

2013 MLB;31;99;20;3;0;1;12;21;.202;.286;.263;

AAA Tot;86;335;110;29;2;18;40;71;.328;.402;.588;

[/sny-table]

 

 

[sny-table rowheader=true columnheader=true]

;XBH%;SO%;BB%;HR%;BABIP;

2011 AA;11.8;21.5;7.1;4.5;.365;

2012 AAA;12.9;19.5;6.3;5.3;.374;

2013 GCL;13.0;8.7;4.3;0.0;.350;

2013 AA;13.3;30.0;10.0;3.3;.294;

2013 AAA;12.8;15.4;26.9;2.6;.349;

2013 MLB;3.6;18.8;10.7;0.9;.244;

AAA Tot;12.9;18.6;10.5;4.7;.369

[/sny-table]

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