Travis d'Arnaud 37 | C
Status: Assigned to New Team/Level
MLB Parent Club: Toronto
Full Name: Travis E. d'Arnaud
Birthplace: Long Beach, CA
Height: 6' 2"
D'Arnaud started his professional career in 2007, with the Philadelphia Phillies' Rookie League affiliate, the Gulf Coast League Phillies. He played 41 games in the GCL and put together a .241 batting average and a .626 OPS. D'Arnaud began the 2008 season with the Phillies' Class-A Short Season affiliate, the Williamsport Crosscutters of the New York–Penn League. He played 48 games in the NYPL, hitting .309 with an OPS of .833 and was selected for the mid-season All-Star game. From there he was promoted to the Class-A Lakewood BlueClaws.
D'Arnaud stayed with the BlueClaws to start the 2009 season where he remained all year, playing in 126 games. He hit .255 with an OPS of .738, though he hit 13 home runs. D'Arnaud was once again selected for the All-Star game, this time in the South Atlantic League. The BlueClaws went on to win the 2009 South Atlantic League championship.
To begin 2010, d'Arnaud was sent from the Phillies to the Toronto Blue Jays organization as part of a trade that saw ten players change uniforms. The Phillies received Roy Halladay, along with $6,000,000 from the Blue Jays. Toronto received d'Arnaud, Kyle Drabek and Michael Taylor, who they later flipped to the Oakland Athletics for Brett Wallace. Wallace was then traded to the Houston Astros for center-field prospect Anthony Gose. d'Arnaud played the entire 2010 season with the Dunedin Blue Jays, the Blue Jays' High-A affiliate in the Florida State League. Despite suffering from back problems and playing in a higher league, d'Arnaud put up comparable numbers to his 2009 campaign, hitting .259, an OPS of .726 and 6 home runs in 71 games. D'Arnaud was named FSL Player of the Week for the week of April 19, was selected to participate in the midsummer Home Run Derby and he was named a Mid-Season and Post-Season All-Star.
In 2011, d'Arnaud's played the entire 2011 season in the Eastern League, with the Blue Jays Double-A affiliate, the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. Over his first three seasons in the minors, d'Arnaud had steadily improved his defense, but 2011 was the year in which he made vast improvements to all aspects of his offensive ability. He finished the season with a .311 batting average and an OBP of .371 in 114 games. He saw another great spike in power, hitting 21 home runs with a slugging percentage of .542 and 33 doubles. On July 13, d'Arnaud was named to the Eastern League's Mid-Season All-Star team. He also made the post-season team on August 25, going to his sixth All-Star game in total. The following day, on August 26, d'Arnaud was named the EL's Most Valuable Player.
On September 16, the Toronto Blue Jays named d'Arnaud as one of the recipients of the R. Howard Webster award, an award given to the best player at each level of the Blue Jays minor league farm system. The next day, d'Arnaud went on to win his second minor league championship ring, as the New Hampshire Fisher Cats defeated the Reading Phillies 3 games to 1 in the semi-finals and then defeated the Richmond Flying Squirrels 3 games to 1 in the final series of the Eastern League championship.
Baseball America named d'Arnaud as the Best Defensive Catcher in the Eastern League for the 2011 season.They also named him the #2 prospect in the EL, behind highly-touted outfield prospect Bryce Harper and in front of teammate Anthony Gose. d'Arnaud was also named the starting catcher for the Double-A level in Baseball America's honorary "classifications" All-Star team.
On September 15, USA Baseball announced that d'Arnaud was selected for its 25-man roster to play in the IBAF's 2011 Baseball World Cup.
D'Arnaud was named to appear in the 2012 All-Star Futures Game.
2012 Scouting Report...
d'Arnaud is a strong and big-bodied catcher with a strong arm and powerful bat. He is among the small group of catchers in baseball who grade out to be above average both defensively and offensively at the major league level. d'Arnaud has an ultra-quick bat accompanied by fantastic plate vision. He keeps a steady, consistent bat plain and his swing is very leveraged throughout. d'Arnaud is athletic and runs well for a catcher, although I wouldn't say he has above average speed. His power is also plus, as he can hit the ball out of the park via all fields. He has an advanced eye at the plate and his pitch selection is impressive, although he often gets out in front of breaking balls.
d'Arnaud has made tremendous strides defensively over the past few years. He's always had a strong arm, but especially this past season, his throws to the bases have been much more on target. He calls a good game and has been touted by his pitchers to be a fine receiver. There aren't many 1st tier talents in baseball, but d'Arnaud has no weak spot in his game. Instead, he shines both offensively and defensively and is easily the Jays' best prospect.