Mack Ade– Organizational Evaluation By Position - C



In Queens, it’s all about Travis d’Arnaud (AAA: .304, MLB: 99-AB, .202). We haven’t seen him play a complete season since 2011 when he went .311, 21-HR, 78-RBI at the AA-level. I believe we have the real deal here and frankly, he’s already proved that defensively in his first 31 major league games last season. Will the bat come around? I believe so, especially if he gets off to a decent start. My projection: .280, 17-HR, 75-RBI. His backup could be Anthony Recker (MLB: 135-AB, .215) or Juan Centeno – (AAA: 213-AB, .305 – MLB: 3-10, .300) – My guess is he’s still not a member of the team yet.

Regarding AAA, it seems to me that the best thing they could do I play Centeno here every day so he’s ready in case d’Arnaud goes down the injury road again. His backup looks to be now organizational catcher Blake Forsythe – (AA: 307-AB - .192, 10-HR) – and possibly Kai Gronauer – (AAA: 36-AB - .250).

And now we get to our other top prospect catcher, Kevin Plawecki – (A/A+: 449-AB - .305/.390/.448/.838, 8-HR, 80-RBI). In fact, when everything is said and done, he may wind up the starting Mets catcher around 2016. His credentials are for real, hitting .343, .341, and .359 at Purdue. He’ll play 2014 as a 23-year old and I can’t see any reason why he can’t finish 2014 in Las Vegas. Plawecki is your typical college catcher every team wants. The Mets thought they had a similar ‘catch’ in Forsythe, who impressed them after a superb sophomore year at Tennessee (2009: .347, 15-HR, 46-RBI). Frankly, there maybe never would have been a Plawecki pick if Forsythe worked out. Still, the Mets look like geniuses with this one and could be setting up a future trade that they could call the shots on. Remember… d’Arnaud came to the Mets because Toronto had two great prospects (J.P. Arencibia)which allowed them to then trade one off for that year’s Cy Young winner. Only potential great catchers can do this because they develop so rarely. This is a great pick of a great player that will result in a great addition someday to the Mets’ 25-man squad. Just who that is and what position that person will play is yet to be determined. Backup in Binghamton looks to be Xorge Carillo – (Binghamton: .296), another good bat.

We fall back out of the clouds in A+ with three candidates… Cam Maron – (St. Lucie – 285-AB, .235), Nelfi Zapata – (Sav/St. Lucie – 104-AB, .192), and Jeff Glenn – (Savannah: 225-AB, .196). The Mets don’t seem to be giving up on Maron who was sent to the Arizona Fall League last month to work on his game that produced him becoming a Sterling Player of the Year only a year ago in Savannah (2012: .300). Plawecki has rightfully passed him by but I see Maron in the organization for years to come. He will be backed by a so-far disappointing Albert Cordero – (Sav/St. Lucie: 211-AB, .227), and Tomas Nido – (Brooklyn: 119-AB, .185).

The rest of the catchers on the affiliates are either far too early to project or are currently producing at sub-par levels.  Currently Savannah projections are Edward Rohan – (Brooklyn/St. Lucie – 71-AB, .268) and Colton Plaia – (Brooklyn – 94-AB, .170), while Brandon Brosher – (GCL: 61-AB, .180) while Adrian Abreu – (Kingport: 88-AB, .182), Luis Arizurieta (DNP) and Jose Garcia – (GCL: 118-AB, .229) look to be left behind for one of the short-season teams. It wouldn’t surprise me to see a college catcher drafted early that could be sent directly to Savannah.

Lastly, in July the Mets signed Venezuela prospect Ali Sancez for a $690K bonus. Ben Badler had him as the 25 top Latin prospect of the year and the 2nd catcher. Badler’s comments at the time of the signing were:

"Sanchez is more athletic than [Jose] Herrera and has more experience catching, which is evident in his catch-and-throw skills. He’s an intelligent, high-energy player who has good hands and is a good receiver. He has a solid arm that plays up due to his quick transfer and accuracy. At his best he’s a quality defender who hits in games, though there are skeptics who question his bat. He doesn’t show much power, so he doesn’t stand out in batting practice, but scouts have seen him hit a lot against live pitching, showing a consistent approach and a contact-oriented swing. Sources believe the Mets have been tracking Sanchez for a long time and will make his signing a priority."

Summation –

            Based on the fact that 100 at-bats in the majors is the cutoff for a prospect and d’Arnaud has 99, the Mets currently have two of the top catching prospects in the game. This is big friggin news in baseball and gives the Mets a healthy outlook beginning this upcoming opening day.

Rating:  A+





That Adam Smith said...

This is a huge year for Pawlecki, and for the organization as regards the catching position. If he can conquer AA, and maybe even see some time in Vegas before the year is out, the club should be in a great strategic position next offseason.

Mack's Mets © 2012