My rankings is solely subjective and based on nothing more than what is in my head at time I’m writing this. I’ve followed the Mets minor league players for many years and I feel I can recognize talent at various levels of their development. What I have failed at is how to determine when this talent seems to diminish. It’s amazing how many first round picks never make it in this game.
I’m old school, so you won’t seem much SABR-discussion here, I do research and, when I find a good quote or two, I’ll add them to my analysis, but, like I said in the beginning of this post, most of this us subjective.
Let’s get started.
#6 – C – Kevin Plawecki – 23/yrs old – 6-2, 225 – R/R
Compensation A pick in 2012 – 35th pick overall
(left on board – Joey Gallo (39th pick) – AA/A+: 42-HR, 106-RBI)
2012 – Brklyn – 216-AB, .250/.345/.384/729, 7-HR, 27-RBI
2013 – Sav/St.Lucie – 449-AB - .305/.390/.448/838, 8-HR, 80-RBI
2014 – B-Mets/Vegas – 376-AB - .309/.365/.460/825, 11-HR, 64-RBI
What did they say about Plawecki on draft day –
BA-New York (NL): Kevin Plawecki, c, Purdue: Physical college receiver with fringy to average tools across the board.
Kevin Goldstein @Kevin_Goldstein - It's not a draft without the Mets over-drafting a college catcher
Baseball America him ranked as the 67th player eligible for the draft.
MLB.com had him ranked 74th.
AA - In a lot of ways, Plawecki is a pick in a similar vein to Gavin Cecchini. They're both guys with contact bats and a good chance to stick at a premium defensive position. You can't find those guys. But while I understood the Cecchini pick, this is more of a headscratcher for me. I have more questions about Plawecki in general. As a defender, he does a lot of things right, but his throwing can be problematic. As an offensive player, he's even more one-dimensional than Cecchini. And he's not as young, so he has less time to learn. I just feel that Plawecki was neither the best player available and that there would be other opportunities to draft catchers nearly as good later on.
Keith Law - Plawecki is the best prospect on a Purdue squad that won the Big 10 title for the first time in 103 years and hosted an NCAA regional for the first time as well. He's a fringy defensive catcher who's better at the mental aspects of the position than the physical aspects, but whose ability to make contact should help him become an above-average hitter for the position. He has a largely linear swing, and while he keeps his weight back well he doesn't use it to drive the ball, instead making a lot of gap-to-gap contact; his swing can get long, which is particularly damaging due to his lack of power, and he'll need to keep it consistently shorter in pro ball. Behind the plate, his receiving is average but his arm is below-average, just not enough to force him off the position. He has an everyday catcher ceiling because of makeup and scarcity at the position he plays.
MLB.com - “Plawecki is an offensive catcher with a lot of ability with the bat. He makes consistent contact with a short swing that allows him to stay in the center of the field. With a contact first approach, Plawecki’s power is fringy right now, but there’s a lot of strength to potentially tap into in the future. While his arm is fringe average, at best, the other parts of his defensive game are more than fine to stay behind the plate. He works with pitchers well, calling his own game. He has good hands, frames pitches and blocks them well. He has the size and body frame you want from a catcher.”
Sure, he’s not the best defensive catcher in baseball, but he has a special bat that seems to getting better each year he’s in pro ball. And, the Mets were obviously not afraid to move the college boy faster than you would ever see with someone at the high school level.
The Mets have drafted some college catcher clunkers in the past, but the first rule of drafting catchers is to stay away from the high school kids. The majority of them do not stick at this position, and they can work out their aches and pains while playing behind the batter in college.
Plawecki is going to be a major league catcher. He will first return to Las Vegas and probably play their until the 2015 all-star break. I’d like to think the Mets would keep him, promote him to Queens, and make him Travis d’Arnaud’s backup… but because of the scarcity of talented catchers in the game, he’s probably going to find himself traded some day for a major prospect chip.
I like him a lot.