Travis d'Arnaud: 2015 NL Champion Mets Catcher (2013 - 2019)

Travis d'Arnaud
was born on February 10, 1989, in Lakewood California. 

His mother Marita ran an after school performing arts center & father was a musician who played trumpet, trombone & piano. 

He & his older brother Chase grew up as baseball rivals, even going to different high schools in order to compete against each other. The always imagined how great it would be if they both made the major leagues & played against each other.  That dream did come true.

Trivia: The six-foot two catcher Travis grew up a Los Angeles Dodgers fan with Mike Piazza being his favorite player.

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 making the All-Star team & winning the South Atlantic Championship. He batted .255 showed some power hitting 13 HRs & 38 doubles in 126 games.

Trivia:
In one minor league game, his brother Chase attempted to steal two bases with Travis behind the plate. Travis threw him out both times. 
In 2010 he was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays organization in the Roy Halladay deal, he dealt with back issues in the Florida State League seeing action in just 71 games. He hit .259 with 6 HRs & posted a .996 fielding % while throwing out 30% of would-be base stealers, making the All Star team.

In 2011 at the AA level, he was becoming a top prospect, he batted .311 hitting 21 HRs 33 doubles 78 RBIs posting a .371 on base %. 
Behind the plate he posted a .993 fielding % making just four errors in 424 chances, throwing out 27% of would-be base stealers. He 
was named the Eastern League's MVP & best defensive catcher in his league. He was the number two prospect behind Bryce Harper. 

In 2012 at AAA Las Vegas, he was named to the Futures Game, but suffered a knee injury dropping him to the 23rd Top Prospect.

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.


Mets Career: 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.

Mets Debut: 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.

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

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%).

The young Mets pitchers were already praising his pitch calling, ability to make low pitches look like strikes & recognize their style of pitching.

d'Arnaud brothers meet at the plate

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

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 HRs. 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 3 triples & 32 RBIs. Although he posted a poor on base % (.302) he had a .718 OPS. 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 Mets Pennant Season: 2
015 opened up with a lot of excitement & expectations for the Mets to make a solid playoff run. Little did anyone know how well they would do, making it to the World Series. 

On Opening Day, he collected a pair of hits, including a 7th inning RBI triple off the Nat's 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 straight while driving in at least one run in six of those games. On April 14th his RBI single off the Phil's Aaron Harang was just one of two runs in Jacob deGrom's 2-0 shut out. deGrom went into the 8th inning before the bullpen finished it off.

On April 15thTravis 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. The injury bug was something that always bit Travis. He came back to the lineup in June, in an eight-game span he hit two HRs & drove in seven runs, but he was right back on the DL again until July 31st. 

By the time he came back the Mets were in first place & defending their spot-on top of the NL East. Rookie Kevin Plawecki had taken over the catcher spot & did a fine job, although his bat was not as good as d'Arnaud's.

In the final two weeks of August Travis played in 12 games hitting 4 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. 

The next day he walked with the bases loaded in the 6th inning tying up the game at five. The Mets won it 6-5. From August 21st to August 29th, he drove in runs in six straight games.

Four RBI Day: On September 5th, in a game against the Marlins in Florida, d'Arnaud hit a 1st inning three run HR off Brad Hand. Wilmer Flores followed going back-to-back. In the 2nd inning Travis added an RBI single to earn himself his biggest RBI Day of his season. 

From September 5th thru the 15th, he drove in ten runs adding to the Mets high run production while staying atop the division.

Since July 31st, The Mets run production was much higher from the first half of the season. This was mostly due to the addition of Yoenis Cespedes as well as Michael Conforto. The additions of role players Kelly Johnson & Juan Uribe helped as well. 

But somewhat overlooked was Travis d'Arnaud returning to the lineup healthy playing every day.

The Mets clinched the NL East title on September 25th in Cincinnati.

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).


2015 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 Granderson's bases loaded three runs double. 

The next inning d'Arnaud added a two run HR off Brett Anderson 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 4th sac fly foul ball down the right field line, off Zack Greinke, scoring Daniel Murphy.



2015 NLCS: In Game #1 of the NLCS against the Chicago Cubs at Citi Field,  d'Arnaud had two hits. He hit a 6th inning solo HR off the Cubs Jon Lester, putting the Mets up 3-1. They went on to a 4-2 victory. 

Travis collected another hit in the Mets Game #3 win as well.

In the final Game #4 at Wrigley Field, d'Arnaud went back-to-back with Lucas Duda off pitcher Jason Hammel, with a solo shot-putting New York up 4-0 as they rolled on to an 8-3 win going to their first World Series since 2000.

Overall, in the NLCS he batted .267 (4-15) with 2 HRs 4 RBIs & two runs scored.

2015 World Series: In Game #1 of the 2015 World Series against the KC Royals, d'Arnaud tied up the game early on with a 4th inning single off Edinson Volquez. The Mets took a 3-1 lead but went on to lose the game 5-4 in extra innings. 

Travis was hitless in the Mets Game #2 loss.

As the World Series shifted back to Queens for Game #3, Travis would collect two hits including a double in the Mets 9-3 win behind Noah Syndergaard.

Over the next two games he was held hitless by Royals pitching as the Mets lost the series in five
games.

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

After the Pennant: In 2016 d'Arnaud was the Mets Opening Day catcher & scheduled to be their main guy behind the play. It did not turn out that way & was a very disappointing year for him.  

At the end of April the injuries began & he would miss two months not returning until late June.  That gave Rene Rivera a chance who did so well he beat out Kevin Plawecki as the main back up. d'Arnaud returned to the Mets after stints in St. Lucie & AAA Vegas. 

Uniform # Trivia: When he returned, he gave up his uniform #7 back to Jose Reyes & took on #18 in honor of retired NLF Quarterback Peyton Manning.

On June 24th he had a three RBI Day in an 8-6 win over the Atlanta Braves. On July 2nd, his 4th inning tie breaking single led the Mets to a 4-3 win over the Cubs. On July 4th in South Florida, the Mets overcame a six-run deficit to beat the Marlins 8-6. Travis, he hit his first HR of the year & drove in two runs in the game. Two days later he homered again in another Mets win.

In August he hit just two HRs with four RBIs but batted .282. He played sparingly in September
batting just .217 driving in just one run in 17 games.

He finished the year playing in 75 games, with 4 HRs 7 doubles 15 RBIs & a .307 on base %. He hit .264 against righties & just .190 vs lefties. Behind the plate he threw out 23% of would-be base stealers & posted a .998% fielding %.

2016 Post Season: The Mets qualified for the Wild Card spot but lost the NLWC Game to the San Francisco Giants. Travis did not play in the game.

2017: In the off season the Mets did not peruse a catcher, in January they agreed to
giving d'Arnaud a one-year deal worth $1.8 million. 
He answered by arguably having had his best year at the plate as a Met. 

On April 11th, he hit his first HR of the year while collecting three hits & driving in three runs in a 14-4 beating of the Phillies. Two games later, he had his only four-hit game of the year, hitting another HR & driving in four RBIs. 

Multi HR -5 RBI Game: On April 29th he had his biggest game of the year, hitting two HRs off the Nat's Max Scherzer, while driving in five runs in a 7-5 Mets win, snapping a five-game losing streak.

In mid-May he made yet another trip to the DL, missing three weeks of action. 

He returned on June 1st & on a road trip to the Southern USA he hit two HRs driving in three runs in a four-game span. In June he did hit four HRs then took five more weeks until he hit another. On June 30th he added an RBI single to a 2-1 Jacob deGrom victory over Ben Lively & the Phillies.

In August with David Wright, Jose Reyes & Wilmer Flores all injured, manager Terry Collins put Travis at third base. He was switched back & forth with Asdrubal Cabrera to second base to not impact the defense as much. On August 8th he hit a two run HR in Texas off A.J. Griffin in a 5-4 win.

He had a big September batting .297 with 19 hits 6 HRs & 19 RBIs. He started out the month hitting safely in 10 of 13 games, raising his average ten points. From September 3rd to September 14th, he drove in runs in six of seven games.

Multi HR Game:
On September 22nd he had another multi-HR game in a 7-6 win over Wahington. In the 2nd inning he led off with a HR off Edwin Jackson. In the 5th with the Mets down 6-3 he tied it up with a three-run shot also coming off Jackson leading New York to the win. It was his third four RBI game of the year.

Three days later on September 25th, he had an RBI double off Max Fried & solo HR off Jose Ramirez leading the Mets in a 3-2 win over the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field. Two games later he had a three RBI Day in a 7-1 Mets win over the Phillies.

As for the Mets they finished a dismal fourth 77-85 under new manager Mickey Callaway. In 2017 Travis batted .244 with Mets career highs in HRs (16) & RBIs (57). 

He had 85 hits with 19 doubles a .735 OPS but posted a poor .293 on base %. He did well against lefties batting .302 but just .225 vs righties. Behind the plate in 93 games, he posted a .995 fielding % throwing out just 17% of would-be base stealers.

2018: In 2018 he started out as the Opening Day catcher, but tore his UCL in his right elbow, missing the rest of the entire season. He played in just four games at the big-league level going 3-15 with a HR & 3 RBIs.

The Mets realizing that they could not rely on d'Arnaud, quickly went after catchers in the off season, landing veteran Wilson Ramos as their main backstop. They did give d'Arnaud  a one-year deal at the end of the season, as he was in their plans as a backup & possibly a utility man in other positions.

2019: After ten games, he was batting just .07 (2-23), although he did manage to drive in two runs. On April 27th at Citi Field in a horrendous game, where he allowed three passed balls, threw wildly to second base & got thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double four runs down, he heard the boo birds. It was to be his last Mets game, as he was designated for assignment the next day.

Mets Career: In his seven-year Mets career he caught 391 games (7th most in Mets history). He
batted .242 with 329 hits 65 doubles 5 triples 47 HRs & 164 RBIs with 112 walks 253 strike outs a .303 on base % & .704 OPS. 

Post Mets Career: He was picked up by the Los Angeles Dodgers appearing in one game, then had his contract purchased by the Tampa Rays. 

Rays Career: He soon became their main catcher along with Mike Zunino. The second place Tampa Rays that won 96 games (96-66) getting to the post season where they lost the ALDS to the Houston Astros.

On July 15th, he became the fifth Rays player in team history to have three HRs in a game. It came against the AL New York team, including the go head HR against reliever Aroldis Chapman. 

Less than a week later he hit his first career grand slam, leading his team to a 4-2 over the Chicago White Sox. In the last two weeks of July, he hit seven HRs. 
With Tampa he hit 16 HRs with 16 doubles 67 RBIs & a 263 average in 92 games. 

2019 Post Season: In the AL Wild Card game he went 0-4. In the ALDS he got two hits in 15 at bats, with RBIs in Games #4 & 5 in which the Rays won.

He was granted free agency & signed with the Atlanta Braves for 2020.

Braves Career: In the Covid19 shortened season, he played in 44 games batting a career best .321 (9th best in the NL). He hit 9 HRs with 8 doubles 34 RBIs & a career best .386 on base %.



2020 Post Season: In the Wild Card series he batted .222 (2-9). He did well in the NLCS win over the Marlins, going 6-10 with two HRs & seven RBIs. In Game #1 he hit a three run Hr & collected three hits in the 9-5 Braves win. In Game #2 he homered again, helping the Braves in their 2-0 win. In the NLCS loss to the Dodgers, d'arnaud batted just .174 but did drive in three runs.

Travis found a home in Atlanta becoming the Braves main backstop from 2022-2022 seasons. There he won a World Series & was an AA Star. In the Braves 2021 Championship season he played in 60 games due to a torn thumb ligament injury, sharing time with William Contreras & Kevean Smith & Stephen Vogt. He batted .220 with 7 HRs & 26 RBIs.

2021 Post Season: Travis entered his fourth post season in 2021. He collected two hits & an RBI in the NLDS win over the Brewers then had four hits in the NLCS win over the Dodgers. In the World Series against the Houston Astros, he homered in Game #2 & then again in Game #3 in the 8th inning off Kendall Graveman in the 2-0 Braves win.

In 2022 Travis was named to his first All Star team, on the year he had career highs in hits (106) doubles (25) HRs (18) & runs scored (61). He batted .268 with 60 RBIs & a .791 OPS. He drove in nine runs against the Mets the most RBIs he had vs any team, while batting .272 against them.

Trivia: Travis & Mets All Star Jeff McNeil represented Long Beach California at the 2022 All Star Game, making it 15 of the last 16 All Star Games where a player from Long Beach was represented.

2022 Post Season: In the NLDS loss to the Phillies Travis homered off Ranger Suarez in Game #1 & then again in Game #4 off Jose Alvarado. In the series he led his team with hits (6) & doubles (3). He tied with Matt Olsen for most HRs (2) & RBIs (5).

In 2023 he shared time (63 games) playing behind Sean Murphy (102 games) batting .225 with 11 HRs & 39 RBIs. He missed time early on in April after a home plate collision with the Padres Rougned Odor. On June16th he hit his 100th career HR coming off Dinelson Lamet of the Rockies in an 8-1 Braves win.

2023 Post Season: In the NLDS loss to the Phillies, Travis homered off former Mets teammate Zack Wheeler in the 7th inning of Game #1 igniting the Braves 5-4 comeback win.

Career Stats:
In his eleven-year career, d'Arnaud played in 785 games batting .250 with 680 hits
108 HRs 141 doubles & 390 RBIs. He has struck out 593 times, walked 215 times with a .310 on base % & .734 OPS. 

Behind the plate in 645 games, he has thrown out 21% of would-be base stealers, with a .995 fielding making 32 errors in 6284 chances %. 

Family: In November 2017 Travis married his wife the former, Brittney Cobain in a ceremony at Lake Tahoe. While playing with the Mets they were living in Long Island City, with their beloved dog, with an amazing view of the Manhattan skyline from their luxury apartment.

Family- MLB Brother: Travis brother Chase, is a former MLB infielder. 
Chase played seven seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates (2011-2014) Philadelphia Phillies (2015) Atlanta Braves (2016) Boston Red Sox San Diego Padres (2017) & San Francisco Giants (2018). He is a .222 lifetime hitter with 5 HRs & 40 RBIs in 236 career games.

Comments

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.

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