I will be presenting a series of posts projecting the Mets’ 2014 statistical seasons by Catchers, Infielders, Outfielders, Starting Pitchers and Relievers. For the purpose of my analysis, I’ll be sticking to players who will likely comprise the Mets Opening Day Roster.
TRAVIS D’ARNAUD, C
The No. 1 prospect behind the dish, Travis d’Arnaud, will finally get his shot at the starting catcher position to open the 2014 season. He’s projected to be an above average starter behind the plate, with the chance of being an All-Star for years to come. There is only one real concern about d’Arnaud: Will he stay healthy long enough to reach his potential?
He’s not Mike Piazza in the batter’s box, but scouting reports indicate he will be solid defensively, and could someday be a middle of the order bat. He struggled in his first 100 or so ABs in 2013, but he was injured for most of the season and was called up only a short time after being reinstated from the DL. He should hit somewhere in the bottom half of the order for most of the upcoming 2014 campaign.
130 G / 525 PA / 14 HR / 61 RBI / 0 SB / 57 R
.263 AVG / 109 OPS+ / .338 wOBA / 110 wRC+ / 2.6 WAR
ANTHONY RECKER, C
Anthony Recker was a pleasant surprise last season filling the back up role behind the plate. Not only did Recker show + receiving skills behind the dish with his framing ability, he also showed he has a little pop in the bat as well. He finished the 2013 season with 6 long balls in just 135 ABs, and slugged .500 vs LHP. That’s a HR every 22 ABs. Not bad for a reserve C with solid defensive skills.
I ran across something very interesting while researching Recker’s 2013 season. We had a much better record in games that Recker started behind the plate. In fact we were 20-15 when he was in the starting lineup, and 40-55 when Buck started. At first I thought maybe it was just coincidence, but when you throw in the fact that our SP’s were 13-7 with Recker and 24-36 with Buck, there has to be some validity to it. Now consider that Buck caught 25 of 26 games that Mr. Matt Harvey started in 2013, while Harvey and Recker weren’t paired together once. If you take Harvey’s 9-5 record out of Buck’s total, that puts roughly the same group of pitchers throwing to both catchers, and brings the 2013 Mets SP’s record at 15-31. Take that for what its worth, but I’m betting we’re much better behind the plate in 2014 than we were last season.
52 G / 151 PA / 8 HR / 21 RBI / 0 SB / 19 R
.236 AVG / .708 OPS / .311 wOBA / 98 wRC+ / 0.8 WAR
(Photos by Anthony J. Causi/NY Post, Brad Barr/USATSI)