Feb 25, 2016

Mets Catcher: Kevin Plawecki (2015)

Kevin Jeffrey Plawecki was born February 26th 1991 in Carmel, Indiana where his father coached his youth baseball teams. The six foot two right hand hitter can play both catcher & at first base. After attending Westfield High School he went to Perdue University where he was a star baseball player.

He set a freshman school RBI record there getting named Freshman All American. He got better through the years, getting named Big Ten Player of the Year & second team All American batting .359 with 20 doubles in 59 games. He was also voted Most Outstanding Player in the 2012 Big Ten Tournament. 

Plawecki was the New York Mets first round draft pick (35th overall) in the 2012 amateur draft. His pick along with Gavin Cecchini were compensation for losing Jose Reyes to free agency.

He spent 2012 with the Brooklyn Cylones batting .250. In 2013 he was with the A ball Savannah Sand Gnats & then a promotion to A ball plus St. Lucie where hit .294. He was gaining a lot of attention & was soon being called the Mets catcher of the Future even before Travis d'Arnaud's career took off.

 He spent the season at both AA Binghamton where he hit .326 & was pushed up to AAA Las Vegas. There he caught the another highly touted Mets prospect; pitcher Noah Syndergaard. The anticipation of the two players development toward the MLB careers was very exciting for the Las Vegas club. Both Players were named to the 2014 Futures Game for the United States Team, where Plawecki was named the starting catcher.

Plawecki was at Spring Training 2015 & there was no rush to bring him up, as the Mets were comfortable with d'Arnaud & Anthony Recker as his back up. But everything changed in April, when d'Arnaud went down with a broken hand. Rather than go with the back up Recker, Plawecki was brought up sooner than planned.

He made his debut on April 21st, getting the start catching Jonathon Niese in a 7-1 Mets win over the Braves at Citi Field. That day he went 2-4 collecting his first big league hits & scored two runs as well. On April 25th he hit his first career HR, it came in an inter league subway series game, off pitcher CC Sabathia where the Mets won 8-2.That day he had his first career multi RBI game.

Quotes: Terry Collins: “He’s such a good prospect, we’re not going to just let him sit on the bench. Now, when Travis is ready to play like normal, we’ll have to make another decision, see how this is working.”

On May 5th his 4th inning two run double, ended up being the game winner in Bartolo Colon's fifth win of the season, coming over the Baltimore Orioles. At the plate he struggled as his average fell to the low .200's by mid June, this may have been due to an on going sinus infection.

As he recovered from that he raised his average up 35 points to the middle of July. On July 3rd his 9th inning sac fly scored Lucas Duda against the Los Angeles Dodgers & proved to be the games winning run. By the end of July the Mets had a different team, with the promotion of Michael Conforto, the additions of Yoenis Cespedes, Kelly Johnson & Juan Uribe the team was coring a lot more runs.

Catcher Travis d'Arnaud also returned to the line up at the end of July & Plawecki was sent back down to AAA Las Vegas on August 10th. He returned in September with the expanded rosters.

On September 10th, Plawecki hit a two run double in Atlanta & then scored on Bartlo Colon's RBI base hit. He added another RBI in the 8th inning giving Plawecki his second career three RBI game. On Sunday September 27th, the day after the Mets clinched the NL East in Cincinnati Plawecki hit his third HR of the season, a solo shot in the Mets 8-1 win.
He ended the year batting .219 with 3 HRs 13 doubles & 21 RBIs in 73 games. Behind the plate he caught 26% of base runners trying to steal & posted a .998 fielding %.

He showed great defensive abilities & the handling of the Mets young pitching staff, to some of whom he was familiar with from the minor leagues. He was added to the Mets post season roster but did not play.

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