Feb 9, 2016

2015 NL Champion Mets Catcher: Travis d'Arnaud (2013-2015)

Travis d'Arnaud was born on February 10, 1989 in Lakewood California. The six foot two catcher grew up a Los Angeles Dodgers fan & Mets Hall of Famer 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.

Trivia: In one game, his brother Chase attempted to steal three bases, getting nailed all three times. Two of those times he was thrown out by his brother Travis.

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%.

The young Mets pitchers have already praised his pitch calling, knowledge of their styles & ability to make low pitches look like strikes. Many baseball folks believe he has the potential to be one of the games best backstops. 

At the plate he needed to show more patience, something former Mets hitting coach Dave Hudgens heavily taught.

He started out the 2014 season very slow, batting just .202 with two HRs & six RBIs by May 12th. That night he helped the Mets to a 9-7 subway series win, with a HR. But the next day he suffered a concussion, the third of his career when he was hit in the head with a back swing from Alfonso Soriano. He missed over two weeks of action.

On June 6th he was sent back down to AAA Las Vegas to fine tune his hitting. In the 15 games after his demotion, he hit .436 with 6 home runs. On June 24th he was called back up to the Mets and resumed his role as starting catcher. He started out with a seven game hit streak, hitting safely in 15 of 17 games.

On July 4th, he broke a top of the 9th inning 4-4 tie in Texas, with a two run double off Aaron Poreda. The Mets went on to a 6-5 win. Over the next four games he hit HRs against the Rangers & the Atlanta Braves while driving in four runs.

On July 18th, he led the Mets to a 5-4 win in San Diego, with a top of the 9th inning tie breaking RBI base hit. On July 28th, he had a three hit, three RBI game against the Phillies in a 7-1 Mets win.

In August he hit four HRs & kept his average up near .230, an improvement from the .200 mark. On September 5th, he hit a three run HR & drove in another run helping the Mets in a 14-5 win over the Reds in Cincinnati. He finished the year at .242 with 13 HRs, 22 doubles & 32 RBIs.

Defensively he played in 105 games at catcher, posting a .990 fielding % although he did make nine errors (3rd most in the NL) & led the league with 12 passed balls. 

2015 opened up with excitement & expectations for the Mets to win & make a playoff run. Little did any one know how well they would do, making it to the World Series. d'Arnaud started out the season well, on Opening Day he collected a pair of hits, including a 7th inning RBI triple off the Nats Max Scherzer, which sealed the Mets 3-1 win at Washington. 

d'Arnaud would have a tremendous start, in his first eleven games he would bat .319
 hitting safely in eight of them & driving in at least one run in all but two. On April 15th he hit his first HR of the season, it came at home against the Philadelphia Phillies in a 6-1 Met win.

On April 19th, he was hit on the hand by a pitch from the Miami Marlins A.J. Ramos & wound up missing two months of action with a fractured hand. He came back to the line up in June but after just eight games, he was back on the DL again until July 31st. In those eight games he hit two HRs & drove in seven runs.

By the time he came back the Mets were in first place & defending their spot on top of the NL East. Rookie Kevin Plaweki had taken over the catcher spot & did a fine job in d'Arnauds absence, although his bat was certainly missed.

In the final two weeks of August he played in 12 games hitting 3 HRs with 12 RBIs. On August 24th he had three hits with a HR & three RBIs in the Mets 16-7 crushing of the Phillies in Philadelphia.

On September 5th, in a game against the Marlins in Florida, d'Arnaud hit a three run HR in the 1st inning. It was followed by a Wilmer Flores solo shot. In the 2nd inning, he added an RBI single to earn himself his biggest RBI day of his season. In the first two weeks of September he drove in another 11 runs adding to the Mets high run production.

Since July 31st, The Mets run production was much higher from the first half of the season. This was mostly due to the fact of the addition of Yoenis Cespedes & Michael Conforto as well. Also Kelly Johnson & Juan Uribe's additions helped too. But some what over looked is Travis d'Arnaud returning to the line up healthy.

He finished up the year playing in 67 games, batting .268 with a .340 on base % (23 walks). He hit 12 HRs with 14 doubles & 41 RBIs. Behind the plate in 64 games he threw out 33% of runners trying to steal. According to baseball reference his range factor per game for 2015 was 2nd in the NL (9.08).

Post Season: NLDS After going hitless in the first two games of NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers, d'arnaud had a big Game #3. In the 2nd inning with the Mets down 3-0, d'Arnaud started a rally by driving in the Mets first run of the game.

He then scored on Curtis Grandersons bases loaded three run double.The next inning d'Arnaud added a two run HR scoring Yoenis Cespedes as the Mets went on to a big 13-7 win.

In the final Game #5 clincher at Dodger Stadium, d'Arnaud tied up the game with a sac fly foul ball down the right field line, off Zack Greinke, scoring Daniel Murphy.

NLCS: On October 17th, in Game #1 of the NLCS at Citi Field, d'Arnaud hit a 6th inning solo HR off the Chicago Cubs Jon Letser, putting the Mets up 3-1. They went on to a 4-2 victory. d'Arnaud had two hits that night & another in Game #2.

In Game #4 at Wrigley Field, d'Arnaud followed Lucas Duda's three run HR with a solo shot of his own, putting New York up 4-0 as they rolled on to an 8-3 win going to their first World Series since 2000.

World Series: In Game #1 of the 2015 World Series against the KC Royals, d'Arnaud tied up the game with a 4th inning single off Edinson Volquez. The Mets went on to lose the game 5-4 in extra innings. In Game #3 he added a double & two hits in the Mets 9-3 win behind Noah Syndergaard's pitching.

Overall in the post season he played in all 14 games, going 10-55 (.182) with 3 HRs 7 RBIs & one double. He struck out 17 times & did not walk.

In his three year career he has 177 hits 26 HRs 39 doubles 4 triples 87 RBIs & a .313 on base %. Behind the plate he has handled a fine young Mets pitching staff tremendously. He has also thrown out 24% of base stealers & posted a .993 fielding %.


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.