December 16, 2013

d'Arnaud Key Component If Mets Are To Succeed

Catcher Travis d'Arnaud was the centerpiece in the return package the Mets got when they shipped R.A. Dickey out of town following a 20 win, Cy Young Award season in 2012. The top prospect in the Blue Jays system, he made his Met debut this season to a reasonable amount of fanfare, and is slated to be the battery mate of Matt Harvey, Zach Wheeler, and all of the other young Met pitching stars for years to come. In his 31 games in the bigs, he has looked like a solid defensive backstop. His offense, however, looked lacking, posting just a .202 average and a .286 on-base percentage.

Photo by Michael Baron
If this year's Mets team plans to contend, it will need consistency and production from the catcher position. With the young starter penned into the lineup, his roster spot appeared to be one of the very few that was not under review and slated for improvement during the Winter Meetings. d'Arnaud needs to reward team management for their confidence in him by having a big, breakout type year. He may not be a serious power threat, but he could fall into a 20 home run per year category, making him especially effective if he returns to the .280 to over .300 batting averages he was sporting in his years at AA and AAA. That type of stat line would make him a terrific steal from Toronto, especially with Dickey's 2013 in hindsight.

The Mets say they plan to contend this season. If they wish to do so, d'Arnaud will have to be a big part of it.


  1. You are 100% correct TdA production will be a major factor in the Mets success or failure. With his limited time at AAA & ML level his offensive production will be a question mark going into the season. He needs to make consistent contact and get on base. The Mets and Collins havent done him any favors with his placement in the line up batting 7 or 8 doesn't get him many quality pitches to hit. I would like to see him hit in 2 or 6 spot in the lineup. The lack of a decent offensive back up who could step in and help out is another concern because all the pressure falls on TdA.

  2. Another big "if":
    The kid has been fragile and has lost a lot of at-bats to injury the last couple of seasons. No doubt, this has slowed his development as a big-league-ready hitter (and made it easier for the Jays to trade him).

    For this trade to be the steal it's been described as, he's got to prove he can avoid injury -- and management has to be patient, with the understanding that as a hitter he has some catching-up to do.

    (Gotta say, though, even if he's a total bust, it was still an excellent trade to get Syndegaard straight up for Dickey.)