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  1. #1
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    d'Arnaud has complete game

    Pipeline Perspectives: d'Arnaud has complete game
    With total package of skills, Mets backstop has more promise than Padres' Hedges


    There's a good amount of subjectivity regarding baseball prospects. With the evaluation of talent being in the eye of the beholder, finding consensus is often difficult. Even Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo at MLBPipeline.com don't always see eye-to-eye. They'll be discussing their viewpoints regularly in a feature called Pipeline Perspectives. Submit a topic for them to debate.

    Travis d'Arnaud's all-around abilities as a catcher have made him a coveted prospect. The Phillies selected him 37th overall in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft, signing him for $837,500. Since then, d'Arnaud has been a key component in not one but two trades for Cy Young Award winners, first going to the Blue Jays for Roy Halladay and then to the Mets for R.A. Dickey.

    Scouts remain bullish on d'Arnaud because he has the potential to contribute offensively and defensively like few backstops can. That's what makes him the game's top catching prospect, even if Jonathan Mayo disagrees and vouches for Austin Hedges of the Padres.

    The 24-year-old d'Arnaud stands out the most for his prowess at the plate, and he keeps getting better and better. A career .286/.347/.476 hitter in the Minors, he has boosted his OPS from .726 in high Class A to .906 in Double-A to .990 in Triple-A. d'Arnaud's best pure tool is his above-average right-handed power, which he generates with a combination of bat speed and strength, and he could smash 20 homers annually in the Major Leagues.

    d'Arnaud shows a feel for hitting as well, and his compact swing and all-fields approach should translate to solid batting averages as well. He could stand to draw a few more walks, but he has made progress with his plate discipline as he has risen through the Minors. d'Arnaud very well could produce .275/.340/.500 lines year in and year out in the Major Leagues.

    Hedges is no slouch with the bat, either, but he doesn't have d'Arnaud's offensive upside. His .768 OPS last season in the high Class A California League was fairly pedestrian considering it came in a notoriously hitter-friendly circuit, and he recorded just a .566 OPS after an August promotion to Double-A (granted, a small sample size). Hedges projects to be more of a .260 hitter with maybe 15 homers per year in the Majors.

    To Hedges' credit, he's probably the best all-around defensive catcher in the Minor Leagues. But d'Arnaud also gets the job done behind the plate, with his throwing and receiving giving him two more solid tools.

    d'Arnaud's defense took a significant step forward in 2011, when he was the Double-A Eastern League Most Valuable Player while playing for New Hampshire manager Sal Fasano. Fasano, who caught 11 seasons in the big leagues, helped d'Arnaud improve his catch-and-throw skills. He has cut down 34 percent of potential basestealers in the Minors over the past three seasons.

    The only knock on d'Arnaud -- besides his well-below-average speed, which doesn't matter with a catcher -- has been his inability to stay healthy. He had back problems in 2010, tore a knee ligament trying to bust up a double play in 2012 and missed most of the first half of last season after fouling a ball of his left foot and breaking it. The good news is d'Arnaud's medical history appears to be more a case of repeated bad luck rather than chronic injury.

    If not for the broken foot, d'Arnaud likely would have taken over the Mets' catching job long before August. Now that he has it, he won't give it up for a while and should become New York's best backstop since Mike Piazza.
    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article/nym/...nt_id=66425218


    "You don't know how to drink. Your whole generation, you drink for the wrong reasons. My generation, we drink because it's good, because it feels better than unbuttoning your collar, because we deserve it. We drink because it's what men do."

  2. #2
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    d'Arnaud very well could produce .275/.340/.500 lines year in and year out in the Major Leagues.
    Wow, that's pretty high praise.

  3. #3
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    I don't see that happening. Hopefully in 2 or 3 years.

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    Nice. I am confident that he will hit for average and get some walks and be a good OBP guy. I loved what I saw from him behind the plate, and it sounds like the pitchers do to. I really hope he has 20 HR power at this level, because that would really be a sweet addition to our lineup

  5. #5
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    Thing is I really like Callis, he has always been bearish on Mets prospects. So if he praises them I usually notice it.


    "You don't know how to drink. Your whole generation, you drink for the wrong reasons. My generation, we drink because it's good, because it feels better than unbuttoning your collar, because we deserve it. We drink because it's what men do."

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Claymation View Post
    Thing is I really like Callis, he has always been bearish on Mets prospects. So if he praises them I usually notice it.
    He was initially a Toronto prospect though(technically Philly) and that's where he got his prospect status.

    I see d'Arnaud as a .280/.350/.450 kind of bat at best. That's well above average production from catcher.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by YoungStuna View Post
    I see d'Arnaud as a .280/.350/.450 kind of bat at best. That's well above average production from catcher.
    That's some serious numbers, There are only 7 catchers that have 450+ PA with an ops over .800


    "You don't know how to drink. Your whole generation, you drink for the wrong reasons. My generation, we drink because it's good, because it feels better than unbuttoning your collar, because we deserve it. We drink because it's what men do."

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Claymation View Post
    That's some serious numbers, There are only 7 catchers that have 450+ PA with an ops over .800
    I don't think he'll do that right away, more like .260/.330/.400 right now.

    I think he is disciplined, and I think he'll for more average than power. I seriously doubt he'll have a .225 ISO ever unless he makes some swing adjustments to get himself back to where he was in 2011-2012.

    But he didn't draw a ton of walks then, so maybe he's given up some power for more discipline.

  9. #9
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    d'Arnaud has complete game

    If he can produce those lines, I would be very impressed, doubt he does though.

    Health is my concern with him and I think an .800 OPS most years could be accomplished.

  10. #10
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    I see him putting up a modest .750ish OPS this year which is pretty good actually.

    I think he can become an .800 OPS hitter in a few years when he hopefully either develops more power or improves his plate selection.

    However, he'll never get a chance to become an .800 OPS hitter if he can't stay healthy.

    Health is his #1 concern.

    Hopefully it was just a run of poor luck for him.

    Overall, his value amongst Mets fans has definitely gone down quite a bit (or at least the hype has faded), but it seems that many outsiders still view TDA as a top level catching prospect who can become an allstar one day and begin to produce sooner rather than later.

    I think for us, we just haven't had a top level hitting prospect in quite some time so we can become a bit pessemistic when these type of guys don't pan out straight from the start of their big league careers.

    I think its that and a combination of the fact that he played in Vegas, so we don't know how much we can trust his offensive numbers.

    But overall, those numbers are still great for a catcher regardless and I believe in his defensive abilities. He got BABIP'd badly in his short MLB stint last year and his plate selection looked pretty good. His power was non-existent, but he showed too much power in the minors to be a powerless hitter (even if playing in Vegas enhanced his power numbers).

    So outside of injuries, there really is no reason for Mets fans to feel so "sour" about TDA and his chances of reaching his potential at the big league level. It think we just have to be a little more patient with him. Last year was a tough season for him, but it doesn't mean his development is completely tarnished.

    Afterall, there is a reason why so many of the outsiders and professional scouts/talent evaluators still view TDA as a top level catching prospect.
    Last edited by Wrigheyes4MVP; 01-14-2014 at 04:29 PM.
    DUDA


    Quote Originally Posted by VendettaRed07 View Post
    noah is gonna be a beast man.

    with him and harvey, its like were gonna have Goku and Vegetta in the same rotation

  11. #11
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    Oliver and Steamer combine to project d'Aranud for something like .315/.410 in 2014

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by filihok View Post
    Oliver and Steamer combine to project d'Aranud for something like .315/.410 in 2014
    Yeah I think he'll get on base slightly more, but hit for slightly less power.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by YoungStuna View Post
    I don't think he'll do that right away, more like .260/.330/.400 right now.

    I think he is disciplined, and I think he'll for more average than power. I seriously doubt he'll have a .225 ISO ever unless he makes some swing adjustments to get himself back to where he was in 2011-2012.

    But he didn't draw a ton of walks then, so maybe he's given up some power for more discipline.
    I understand why a .225 ISO is a stretch, but he had a .190 ISO in the minors, and like Wright and Piazza has tremendous power to RC.

    I'm curious why you think he'll be a .170 ISO hitter in the majors, and a .140 this year? I realize that sometimes BA can take a hit in as rookies learn to hit in the majors, but your predictions for him as a rookie would be very disappointing.


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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Magoo View Post
    I understand why a .225 ISO is a stretch, but he had a .190 ISO in the minors, and like Wright and Piazza has tremendous power to RC.

    I'm curious why you think he'll be a .170 ISO hitter in the majors, and a .140 this year? I realize that sometimes BA can take a hit in as rookies learn to hit in the majors, but your predictions for him as a rookie would be very disappointing.
    Power to RC doesn't work in Citi Field. If he hit in a friendlier home ballpark maybe he could do that.

    I don't think .260/.330/.400 would be disappointing for a rookie catcher because that's still above average production from a catcher. He's also good defender and a great pitch-framer.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by YoungStuna View Post
    Power to RC doesn't work in Citi Field. If he hit in a friendlier home ballpark maybe he could do that.

    I don't think .260/.330/.400 would be disappointing for a rookie catcher because that's still above average production from a catcher. He's also good defender and a great pitch-framer.
    Before they moved the fences, I'd agree with you. The dimensions are slightly shorter than Shea now.

    Considering the way he's been talked about as a prospect, I would be disappointed to see him with an OPS below .750-.775 as a rookie. I expect him to be a solid .800+ OPS hitter once he's established.


    Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.
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