Sep 17, 2014; New York, NY, USA; New York Mets catcherTravis d’Arnaud
(15) catches a bunt attempt by Miami Marlins shortstopAdeiny Hechavarria
(3) during the fourth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
# 2 – Travis d’Arnaud (New York Mets)
Speaking of injury prone, Travis d’Arnaud spent the large parts of two minor league seasons out of action due to injuries to his left foot and left knee. Plus, he lost 19 games last year due to a concussion and elbow soreness.
In his first full season in the Majors, d’Arnaud didn’t exactly come out swinging (pun intended). On June 8th, the Mets demoted their catcher to triple-A Las Vegas after he hit a rather underwhelming .180/.271/.273. He was a week removed from his concussion at the time, so that could have been one of the reasons for his struggles. However, even before the concussion, he was really struggling and needed to work on his mechanics.
When he returned to the lineup, he hit .272/.319/.486 with 10 home runs and 19 doubles, which showed that the guy can hit. In the second half of the season, his wRC+ of 124 would have ranked him 13th in the Majors, right behind the Braves’ Evan Gattis. Add in the fact that he will be just 26 on Feburary 10 and still has room to grow. I’m all in on thinking that d’Arnaud can become an above average backstop in the majors.
Steamer projects d’Arnaud to hit .251/.313/.428 with 17 home runs. While I do think that those numbers might be a bit low given how he finished the year, they’re not unreasonable. However, if it turns out that he plays in the 121 games that the Steamer projection says, I would be surprised.
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