Travis d’Arnaud is doing and saying all the right things this offseason and understands just how important it is for him to step up and deliver for the Mets this season.
The young catcher has worked on improving his swing with the hope of producing some better offensive numbers in 2014.
“I worked on just shortening my swing,’’ he told Kevin Kernan of the NY Post. “Last year, I feel like every pitch, I was thinking something about my swing compared to focusing on the ball and focusing on seeing the ball and hitting the ball. I just have to slow the game down, and toward the end I started feeling a little more comfortable and a lot of weight came off my shoulders.’’
D’Arnaud looked fatigued at times, likely due to all the time missed with injuries over the last two seasons, and he underwhelming at the plate batting just .202 last year in 99 at-bats with a .286 on-base percentage.
Still the game’s top catching prospect, d’Arnaud was better than advertised at framing pitches and giving his pitchers more than few extra strike calls on balls low in the zone. His manager Terry Collins, says the pitching staff all believe in him.
For a kid still trying to get acclimated to the majors, Travis had some big things to say on his expectations for the team.
“We’re looking good this year and I think we are going to do some amazing things,’’ d’Arnaud said to a small group of reporters at the Mets spring training complex.
“I expect a lot from this team. I expect us to play hard, and ultimately win and try to make the playoffs, that’s what I want to do. I want to make the playoffs, win a World Series and I want to get a ring.’’
Great to see d’Arnaud talk about winning and making the playoffs. Honestly, we can use more talk like that from this team. But here’s hoping that he hits the ground running this Spring, and puts any worries or concerns about his offensive game behind him.