Kevin Plawecki: 2015 NL Champion Mets Reserve Catcher (2015 - 2018)

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 Cyclones batting .250. In 2013 he was with the A ball Savannah Sand Gnats & then a promotion to A ball plus St. Lucie where he 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 backup Recker, Plawecki was brought up sooner than planned.

MLB Debut: 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 ongoing 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 lineup 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 & post 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. 

2015 Post Season: He was added to the Mets post season roster but did not play.

Family: In the 2015-2016 off season, he married his wife Tayler.  In the busy off season, he also had surgery on his paranasal sinuses to correct his dizziness.

2016: Plawecki was expected to be the second-string catcher behind Travis d'Arnaud, but things didn't turn out like expected. Travis went down with injury & struggled missing half the season. Plawecki struggled as well & Rene Rivera saw most of the playing time.

On April 2nd, in his second start of the year Plawecki drove in both runs of a 2-1 Mets win over the Miami Marlins. His best hitting stretch came in early may where he hit in 11 of 14 games. He also drove in runs in four of five games and hit his only HR of the season. By mid-June he was batting just .197 and was sent down to AAA.

Overall, at AAA Las Vegas he batted .300 with 8 HRs 11 doubles & 40 RBIs as the 51's main catcher throwing out 32% of would be base stealers.

He did return to the Mets in September, overall playing in 48 Mets games batting .197 with 1 HR & 11 RBIs. Behind the plate he posted a .988 fielding % throwing out 23% of would-be base stealers.

2017: He went into Spring Training hoping to regain his form & was fighting for a catcher's backup role.

He began the season with the Mets as the team went with three catchers. 

Pitcher: On April 30th, as the Mets were getting beat up by the Nationals in D.C. 23-5. Plawecki was brought into pitch. It was the first time he pitched in a game since he was a teenager. He gave up four HRs, including the third HR of the game to Anthony Rendon.

Drama: On May 5th, after a Mets win over the Marlins in Miami, a photo of T.J. Rivera appeared on the Mets twitter page. In the background a dildo sex toy was spotted in Plawecki's locker. 

Quotes- Kevin Plawecki: "There are some good pranksters on this team. It's definitely awkward. It's weird, but at the same it is kind of funny, but by no means does it reflect who I am as a person."

He batted just .125 by the end of May & was sent back to AAA Las Vegas. There he batted .328 with 9 HRs & 45 RBIs in 64 games. 

He returned to the big-league club, in late August & hit a two run HR in his first game back, in an 8-1 win over the Miami Marlins. 

Pitcher Again? In an August 29th, 14-4 loss to the Reds, Plawecki came in to pitch for the second time that season. In this outing he pitched a 1-2-3 inning.

He saw ample action in September. He hit a HR on September 9th in a 6-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds. He hit his only other HR, in a 4-3 win over the Atlanta Braves. 

For the 2017 season, Plawecki appeared in 37 games (118 at bats) he improved his average to .260 with 3 HRs 5 doubles & 13 RBIs. Behind the plate he threw out 19% of base runners, catching in 29 games.

2018: In 2018 the Mets catching situation was up for grabs as Travis d'Arnaud was down with injury again (4 games). 

The Mets used Devin Mesoraco (66 games) Tomas Nido (34 games)  Jose Lobaton (22 games) with Plawecki seeing the most action (79 games).

Plawecki got the Opening Day start & made the best of it. He collected two hits with two walks & an RBI in the Mets 9-4 win over the Cardinals. On April 11th he went down with a broken hand, missing action until the end of May.

On June 24th, he hit a three run HR & drove in a career high four runs in the Mets 8-7 loss to the Dodgers at Citi Field. 

In the first two weeks of August he saw action in eleven games, he collected 12 RBIs with 8 hits. On August 15th he matched his four RBI high with a grand slam in a 16-5 romp over the Orioles in Baltimore. 

The next day the Mets beat the Phillies in Philly with another offensive explosion 24-4. That day Plawecki drove in three more runs & collected four hits. 

On September 27th he hit his last career Mets HR it came in a 4-1 over Atlanta at Citi Field. 

In 2018 he played in 79 games he hit .210 with career highs in HRs (7) doubles (13) & RBIs (30). He was behind the plate in 71 games throwing out 23% of would-be base stealers. 

Traded: On January 6th, 2019, Plawecki was traded to the Cleveland Indians for reliever Walker Lockett & minor leaguer Sam Haggerty.

The mid-western Indiana boy, returned to his hometown region, 330 miles from his hometown. 

Post Mets Career: He was the 2019 Tribe's backup catcher to Roberto Perez. In 59 games Plawecki, batted .222 with 3 HRs & 17 RBIs. Behind the plate he threw out 23% of runners trying to steal. He made his two more pitching appearances in Cleveland, throwing two scoreless innings.

In January 2020 he signed on with the Boston Red Sox, where he would spend parts of three seasons as 
backup catcher, behind Christian Vazquez.

In the Covid19 shortened season, Plawecki appeared in 24 games batting a career best .341 with 1 HR 5 doubles & 17 RBIs in 82 at bats. That year he made yet another pitching appearance as well. 

2021 Post Season: In 2021 he followed up playing in 64 games batting .287 with a HR & 12 RBIs. 

In the ALWC game he doubled in the Red Sox 6-2 win over their NY rival. He would get a start in one game of the ALDS series win over Tampa going 0-2. In the ALCS he started Game #2 & appeared in three games overall, drawing a walk & scoring a run going an overall 0-3. The Red Sox lost the ALCS to the Houston Astros.

In September 2022 he was released by Boston & signed on with the Texas Rangers finishing the season there. He was granted free agency after that season.

Career Stats: In his six-year career, he played in 320 games batting .229 with 216 hits 18 HRs 48 doubles & 109 RBIs.

Behind the plate, he caught 406 games throwing out 19% of would-be base stealers with a .995 fielding %.

Family: Kevin & his wife Tayler have two sons. They are practicing Christians. 

Tayler was born in California, also went to Perdue & is a soccer alumni there.


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