Feb 9, 2014

Mets Catcher: Travis d'Arnaud (2013-2014)

Travis d'Arnaud was born on February 10, 1989 in Lakewood California. The six foot two catcher grew up a Dodgers fan & Mike Piazza was his favorite player. 

His older brother Chase d'Arnaud is a shortstop with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

After attending high school at Los Alamitos, Ca. Travis went to Pepperdine University playing baseball for there for one season. He was then signed by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 37th round, of the 2007 first year player draft.

In 2008 he played in the A ball,New York Penn. League batting .309 in 48 games played. He finished the year at A ball Lakewood batting .297 in 16 games.

In 2009 he remained with the Lakewood Blue Claws, made the All Star team & won the South Atlantic Championship. His batting average fell off to .255, but he began to show some power hitting 13 HRs & 38 doubles in 126 games. He was already considered a solid minor league player with a good future.

In 2010 he was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays organization in the Roy Halladay deal.

In 2010 d'Arnaud dealt with back issues while playing in the Florida State League seeing action in just 71 games. He hit .259 with 6 HRs & posted a .996 fielding % behind the plate, while throwing out 30% of would be base stealers. His level of play got him a mid season & post season All Star selections.

In 2011 he began to develop into a top prospect, he batted .311 with a boost of power to his bat, hitting 21 HRs 33 doubles 78 RBIs & a .371 on base % while playing at AA New Hampshire.

Behind the plate he posted a .993 fielding % making just four errors in 424 chances, throwing out 27% of would be base stealers. He once again received dual All Star Honors & was named the Eastern League's MVP. He was named the best defensive catcher in his league & the number two prospect behind Bryce Harper. d'Arnaud went on win his second Championship with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.

In 2012 at AAA Las Vegas (now the Mets affiliate) of the Pacific Coast League, he was named to the Futures Game, but soon suffered a knee injury limiting him to 67 games. The injury had him fall to the 23rd Top Prospect from #6.

In that time he batted .333 with 16 HRs 21 doubles 52 RBIs & a .380 on base %. In 55 games at catcher he threw out 30% of would be base stealers & posted a .991 fielding %.

On December 17th 2012, d'Arnaud came to the New York Mets along with Noah Syndergaard, John Buck & Wuilmer Becerra in exchange for Cy Young Winner R.A. Dickey, Josh Thole & Mike Nickeas.

After playing Spring Training with the Mets he was optioned to AAA Las Vegas . He soon suffered a foot fracture & missed three months of action, after a slow recovery.

He played six games with the Gulf Coast Mets (batting .318) then seven games at AA Binghamton (.222) getting to AAA Las Vegas again in August, where he hit .304.

d'Arnaud make his much anticipated debut on August 17th, drawing two walks in an 8-2 loss at San Diego. On August 20th, he got his first career hit (a double), coming off the Braves Luis Ayala in a 5-3 Mets win over the Braves. On August 25th, he hit his first career HR, it came off the Detroit Tigers Rick Porcello in a terrible 11-3 Mets loss.

d'Arnaud saw ample playing time in September splitting time behind the plate with Anthony Recker. In 30 games he had a perfect 1.000 fielding %, making ten assists, making no errors throwing out 5 of 19 base runners attempting to steal (21%). 

On September 15th, he singled off the Miami Marlins Ryan Webb to break a scoreless 12th inning tie, bringing in Lucas Duda with the games winning run. He was batting under .200 but hit safely in five of his last six games to get to .202. Overall he was 20 for 99 in 31 games with one HR, three doubles, five RBIs & a .286 on base%.

There is a lot of expectations for the young catcher, whom the scouts believe can be one of the best in the game defensively. The Mets pitchers have already praised his pitch calling, knowledge of their style & ability to make low pitches look like strikes.  

At the plate he needs to show more patience, something Mets hitting coach Dave Hudgens heavily teaches. He is not a power hitter but his approach at hitting up the middle is a big positive.


Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work. This was an awsome article. "Centerfield ROCKS"

DDD said...

He better be Buster Posey. And the 20 year old pitcher they got is supposed to potentially be great.

I'll miss R.A., though. Right now, I am a Blue Jays fan first...Mets fan second.