Kevin Plawecki had the best game of his Double-A career on Tuesday when he doubled, homered and drove in five runs in his first two at bats. The game would be suspended in the second inning due to rain and was completed on Wednesday afternoon prior to the regularly scheduled game.
The catching prospect finished the first game, 2 for 4, with two runs scored, a home run, five RBI’s and helped lead the B-Mets to a 7-5 victory over New Hampshire. In Game 2, Plawecki started where he left off and singled in his first at bat, and finished the game 1 for 3 in the B-Mets 5-2 loss.
For the first month of the season, Plawecki batted .250/.300/.304, with three doubles, no home runs and just three RBI’s, and the slow start might have been related to the 23-year-old catcher getting used to Double-A pitching. However, when the calendar turned over to May, Plawecki was back in the groove, launching a hitting attack that hasn’t stopped yet. Plawecki did what many other hitting prospects fail to do, he adjusted – a sign of his maturity and polish.
In May, Plawecki is batting .396/.418/.670, with 13 runs scored, 10 doubles, five home runs, 27 RBI’s, and three walks. He has also hit safely in 20 of 23 games, with 13 multi-hit games in that span and in the early part of the month, he enjoyed a nine game hit streak, batting .389 (14 for 36), with four doubles, a home run, and five RBI’s. Currently he has a seven game hit streak and is batting .445 (12 for 27), with six runs scored, four doubles, four home runs, and 12 RBI’s.
During his minor league career, he has always displayed tremendous ability as a contact hitter, often putting the bat on the ball and making things happen. Now in 2014, he has ramped things up at a higher level and is currently on pace to blow past his minor league career highs in home runs (8) and RBI’s (80) that he recorded with Savannah and St. Lucie in 2013.
On the season, he is batting .340/.373/.531, with 13 doubles, five home runs and 30 RBI’s. He has also hit safely in 29 of the 37 games that he has played in, and has 18 multi-hit games in that stretch. With the bases empty he is batting .379/.400/.603 and with runners in scoring position, he is hitting .347/.393/.547.
Plawecki is in the top five in the Eastern League with a .340 batting average and top ten with a .535 slugging percentage. The top prospect has only struck out 18 times in 147 at bats, which proves that he is more likely to put the ball in play and give himself a better opportunity to make things happen.
Plawecki, who has rocketed to #7 on the Mets top prospect list, will likely be promoted to Las Vegas sometime this season, while he bides his time and continues to assault Eastern League pitching. There is no telling what kind of player Travis d’Arnaud will ultimately become, but if Plawecki keeps hitting and making things happen, the pressure will be on the Mets to decide if he should be given the opportunity to showcase his skills in the majors – and that could happen as soon as some point next season.
The former Boilermaker is quickly gravitating into a strong defensive catcher that can hit for both average and power while driving in runs while batting in the middle of the lineup. The key for him will be to continue the trend and keep making the necessary adjustments. If that happens, he’ll soon become a big league catcher with a future as bright as any.