The other day one of my sons facetiously asked me, “Are there any real witnesses to the ‘tear’ that Travis d’Arnaud is supposedly on down in Vegas?”
I tried to contextualize my answer explaining that besides for the PCL being a hitter’s haven Travis was fortunate to have been sent down at a time when the the 51’s were playing home games and then going to the friendliest away environments, like Colorado Springs. So all those dingers have to be taken with a pound of salt.
The idea that d’Arnaud will return to CitiField and be a major power threat is pretty laughable.
But, on the other hand (!), there’s no denying that he must be making solid contact against arms that are in the neighborhood of major league ready. This is a good thing and one that we can hang our hat on.
Here are the stats for d’Arnaud at LV as of Monday morning.
As you can see of his 24 hits 14 of them have gone for extra bases. That’s impressive. But only three walks. What’s up with that? In 2013 in about the same number of ABs he had 21 walks in the same league. Where might the eye have gone?
I pointed out to my son that in 2013 Omar Quintanilla put up an OPS above 900 in the PCL. That fact has to throw a bucket of cold water on the d’Arnaud surge.
One expects d’Arnaud back in Flushing pretty soon, perhaps this week. One thing he is not is blocked at the major league level.
Anthony Recker and Taylor Teagarden are in a tussle trying to demonstrate that they are the better almost-major-league-acceptable version of a backup catcher. In reality they both are horrible hitters.
I think if each were given 400 at bats at the major league level (and woe is the team that has to do that) they each could hit about the same dozen home runs that we expect from Daniel Murphy. The batting average would be Mendozian and the defense would be adequate.
It’s not like all teams have studly backup catchers. Any backup catcher that is that good will eventually find his way to a #1 job elsewhere. I just think Recking Crew and TeaParty are particularly poor.
But who is the fourth catcher the title alludes to?
No, it’s not Juan Centeno. He doesn’t count. Although let’s give him partial credit for leftyness.
It’s the young fellow climbing the ladder, Kevin Plawecki. It sounds like he might be moving up to AAA in the not too distant future. From there it’s just one modest hop up to the show.
Plawecki has done nothing but hit as he has progressed and one must expect that he’ll love the hitting environment Las Vegas will offer.
If d’Arnaud comes back to the Mets and doesn’t hit acceptably (I’d say .250 BA, 740 OPS) it won’t be long before Plawecki will be the special of the day.
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