Travis d’Arnaud may have had his coming-out party for the Mets on Friday night, when he drove a two-run double into the gap to snap an eighth-inning tie that led to a 6-5 4th of July victory over the Rangers.
The win snapped a four-game losing streak for the Mets and showcased what has been a much more confident d’Arnaud at the plate.
“It felt really good,” d’Arnaud said after the game. “It’s a big win for us to start the homestand.”
The top ranked catching prospect heading into this season, credits a back-to-basics approach for his turnaround and clearing his head of all the noise and advice he’s been collecting since his joining the big-league team.
“Just keep things simple. Not overthink my mechanics or overthink anything, have one thought in my head at the plate and that’s it.”
D’Arnaud has now hit in eight of nine games since being recalled from Triple-A, batting .319 (10-for-33) with three doubles, one home run and six RBIs during that span.
“He’s a very confident kid,” said Collins of d’Arnaud. “I know that he’s been swinging pretty good. Tonight he had his chance to help us big time, and he did.”
With Kevin Plawecki coming on strong in the minors, the Mets may ultimately decide to flip one of them to fill another area of need, perhaps the shortstop position.
After last night’s blockbuster trade, the Chicago Cubs are now stacked with several high-upside shortstops, and they may be the perfect partner for a deal that could land the Mets Starlin Castro - who is as talented as they come but has sometimes rubbed the Cubs the wrong way.
Castro is batting .290 and leads all major league shortstops with 26 doubles. He has 11 home runs this season and his 50 RBIs rank second among all shortstops. in 335 at-bats he’s boasting an .807 OPS which ranks third among major league shortstops.
A two-time All Star already, the 24-year old is at the top of the food chain among shortstops who may be available this month. But a talent like that will be prized by many teams and not just the Mets, and he won’t come cheap. His contract calls for a very team friendly $48 million over 6 years with a club option for 2020.
However they dice to do it, the Mets need to find a way to add an impact bat to their lineup which is laden with far too many Quad-A type talents, waiver wire pickups, and reclamation projects. Players like Castro are not often made available by most teams – who usually lock players like this up.
This is certainly something to keep an eye on in the next few weeks.