When the New York Mets traded away their ace, R.A. Dickey, last winter they did it for a haul of prospects. The crown jewel of the deal with the Toronto Blue Jays was catching prospect Travis d'Arnaud. d'Arnaud, who is only 24 years old, has already been traded for two Cy Young Award winners in his career. Many expected d'Arnaud to join the team at some point in June, after the Super Two deadline passed. Unfortunately for the Mets, d'Arnaud's arrival was delayed by a broken bone in his left foot that sidelined him for several months. d'Arnaud finally made his major league debut last month, but the effect of all the missed time has clearly impacted the young catcher.
The Mets have not had a hitter of d'Arnaud's caliber in their farm system for years, so expectations were high for his debut. Many fans and pundits assumed that d'Arnaud would come up to the major leagues and make an immediate impact. The fact that the team's other two prized prospects, Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler, came up and experienced relatively quick success also ratched up the pressure on d'Arnaud. The young catcher has shown flashes of brilliance, but the results are not there just yet.
d'Arnaud has hit .163 with a home run and three RBI's in 49 at bats as a Met. d'Arnaud was essentially handed the starting job on August 17th, after John Buck was placed on the paternity leave list. Buck's departure from the team less than two weeks later sealed the job for d'Arnaud, and with things not breaking well for the Mets of late the young catcher became a beacon of hope for the Mets and their fans. While d'Arnaud hasn't been tearing the cover off the ball, d'Arnaud has shown signs that he can be an impact hitter for the team in the future.
One encouraging sign for d'Arnaud is his eye at the plate. d'Arnaud has almost as many walks (seven) as hits (eight) at the major league level, so he is clearly good at pitch recognition. d'Arnaud also picked up back to back multi hit games over the weekend in Washington, and without Buck looming over his shoulder he can now relax and just worry about playing well. d'Arnaud has also shown that he can handle the club's pitching staff and looks good as a defender, areas of his game that match the lavish scouting reports.
September will be critical for d'Arnaud, who is arguably one of only two position players (the other is David Wright) who is locked into the team's starting lineup next season. d'Arnaud does not have as many Triple-A at bats as the team would like, given the fact that he missed the second half of last season and most of this season with injuries. As such, d'Arnaud has struggled to make the big jump from Triple-A pitching to major league pitching. As d'Arnaud gets more experience and at bats under his belt, the Mets can expect his results to improve. d'Arnaud has all the tools to succeed, it should be simply a matter of time before he asserts himself as a middle of the order presence.
Your man cave is your home field advantage for every game. When the game is on the line, you should be able to look around and be reminded of the great moments you've watched unfold in that very room! MJR Sports Integrity offers a wide range or team and player-specific memorabilia that can do just that and take your game day room to the next level. Find your inspiration at MJR Sports Integrity and will your team to victory!
Short URL: http://sport-ne.ws/10al