The Skinny: Travis d’Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard

An article by posted on December 17, 2012

Mets land potential catcher of the future

With the last hurdle of the R.A. Dickey to Toronto deal approaching, the trade is as good as done. In this deal, the Mets will be giving up Dickey, Josh Thole and an unannounced prospect who isn’t believed to be a top-ranked player. The Mets will be receiving MLB catcher John Buck, catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud, RHP prospect Noah Syndergaard and a player to be named later, also of the same level as the other unannounced prospect. While attaining Buck would have been viewed as an improvement over last season’s catching tandem of Thole and insert right handed catcher here. The real prize of the haul is d’Arnaud and Syndergaard. Here is a look at the players:

Travis d’Arnaud

Position: Catcher

Height: 6’1″

Weight: 195 LBS

Bats/Throws: R/R

Travis d’Arnaud was originally drafted by the Phillies in the 2007 amateur draft with the 37th pick, and was included in the trade for Roy Halladay that sent him to Toronto. d’Arnaud shows a solid approach at the play, making solid contact and turning it into good power from the right side of the plate with a level-swing that generates good natural power without an uppercut. d’Arnaud is not without his offensive flaws, as he will strikeout at a decent amount, and is selective at the plate without drawing walks. In terms of baserunning acumen, he runs without much effort and gets around the bases well, but will never be someone you look to steal bases consistently at the MLB level (21 SB’s in 2000 MiLB AB’s)

Defensively, d’Arnaud has improved every year he has been at catcher, never recording more than six errors at the position. Over his career, he has thrown out 25% of runners, but small sample sizes at each level vary from 30% to 11%. His motion is solid, he has good arm power and it should translate well at the MLB level with some coaching as well as improved pitchers with better pick-off moves/understanding of situations.

d’Arnaud was ranked as the 17th best prospect by Baseball America for the 2012 season and based on talent and potential, could be up playing for the Mets by mid-May.

Possibly 2013 outlook: 303 AB, .246 avg, 11 home runs, 36 RBI, 31 runs, .422 slugging pct (done using MLE equivalency of 2012 season, 303 AB’s)

noah syndergaard

Noah Syndergaard

Position: RHP

Height: 6’5″

Weight: 200 LBS

Bats/Throws: L/R

Noah Syndergaard was a first round draft pick (38th) of the Toronto Blue Jays in 2010. Syndergaard has what will always be defined as the perfect pitchers body, which does leave some room for growth and his height allows him to get solid velocity on the ball (92-97) with compromising his control too much (31 walks in 103 innings at A (Lansing). Syndergaard also features an advanced changeup and a good feel for a curve-ball that leads scouts to believe he will have three plus pitches at the MLB level. Noah pitched in A, and the possibility of seeing him for the St. Lucie Mets seems more than likely, with a long shot the Mets would push him to Binghamton to enable the management to keep a close eye on the second best pitching prospect in the system.

Possible 2013 Outlook: Difficult to determine since assignment isn’t known, but an increase in innings would be expected (140-150 total innings) at either High-A or AA

By trading Dickey, the Mets have gained two prospects who immediately slot into the top-three in the entire system. d’Arnaud is virtually MLB ready, and Syndergaard has put up better numbers than Zack Wheeler at the same point in his career and will be looking at a late-2014 possible ETA.

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