TRAVIS D’ARNAUD, C
Player Data: Age: 28, B/L: Right/Right, Free Agency: 2020
2017 Primary Stats: .244/.293/.443, 16 HR, 57 RBI, 376 PA, 91 wRC+, 0.8 fWAR
2018 Salary: $3.4 million (projected arbitration)
Once again, we must sum up Travis d’Arnaud as a disappointment overall. There were some bright spots, most notably his September during which he hit .297 with six home runs and 19 RBI and improved on defense. A lot of this was a result of Kevin Plawecki breathing down his neck, but he rose to the occasion nonetheless.
He played in 112 games this season, missing some time due to a bone bruise in his wrist. He slashed .244/.293/.443 good for a 91 wRC+, which ranked 18th among catchers with at least 375 plate appearances in 2017 (ninth in the National League). His 16 home runs were a career high, as were his 112 games and 57 RBI.
In September specifically but at various points throughout the season, we saw flashes of d’Arnaud’s potential. This was his fifth season in the majors, however, and at age 28 it is getting to the point when we shouldn’t be talking about potential anymore. Is this the level of production d’Arnaud can supply? Is it only reasonable to expect his career slash line of .245/.306/.406 with 15 home runs and average overall defense?
It will be interesting to see what kind of Spring Training Travis will have, but if Plawecki hits and Tomas Nido tears up Triple-A, d’Arnaud’s time as a Met could be coming to an end.
Did You Know:
D’Arnaud had career-highs in homers (16) and RBI (57). He ranked sixth in the NL among catchers in home runs and sixth in RBI. Overall, d’Arnaud was tied for eighth in the NL with six homers in September and was tied for 11th in the NL with 19 RBI that month. D’Arnaud hit .297 (19-for-64) with five doubles, six homers, 19 RBI with a .343 OBP last month (20 games).
At this point, barring a surprise, the Mets know what they have with d’Arnaud. The best case scenario is for him to split time with Kevin Plawecki behind the dish. It worked at the end of the season and as we know, d’Arnaud has been prone to injury throughout his career. He played 112 games this year which was a career high. He clubbed 16 home runs, but his low average and on-base percentage leave something to be desired behind the dish to be a full-time player. Catching is thin all around baseball right now, so with d’Arnaud and Plawecki and Nido in the wings, the catching next year will look a lot like it did during September 2017.