This one’s pretty easy.
Travis d’Arnaud is the current starting catcher of the Mets and is showing the potential to be a future consistent 20+ home run, .275+ BA hitter. He needs a tremendous amount of work on his throwing to second base (is past wrist injury still a factor here?) and I expect him to be working on that in the off season. Kansas City showed the baseball world that d’Arnaud can be easily run on and this could be an early warning of a big problem next season. Still, he’s a wonderful asset to the future of this team. He played 2015 as a 27-year old and looks like he’ll be around at least through the remainder of this decade.
Our back-up catcher, Kevin Plawecki, disappointed during the time he was given to start in Queens. His .576-OPS lowered his trade value as well made the Mets re-think any thoughts of a position change someday for d’Arnaud. I don’t see him being traded this off-season because I don’t see any team having any desire to obtain him. He’s perfect in the role he is currently placed in.
Past this organizationally, there isn’t much.
I have only one catcher with current projectable major league potential.
22-year old Patrick Mazeika finished second in the Appalachian League in BA (.354), behind his teammate, OF Kevin Kaczmarchi. I see age being a factor that will force the Mets to jump Brooklyn next spring and start ‘Maz’ off in Columbia. A nice eight round pick out of Stetson.
Xorge Carrillo (AA - .240) and Dan Rohlfing (AAA - .230) are slated to return to Las Vegas while Anthony Recker will move on.
Nelfi Zapata (AAA - .162) is the only catcher on paper to play Binghamton and he's coming off a drug suspension.
Colton Plaia (A+ - .285), Tomas Nido (Sav - .259), and Adrian Abreu (80 game suspension) will start in St. Lucie. Plaia is technically reading to move up to Binghamton and there is a chance he could land there on opening day.
And Mazeike could have Tyler Moore (Sav - .181), Natanael Ramos (Sav - .288), and Jose Garcia (2011 Intl bonus: $800K – Brklyn - .286) compete with him in Savannah. Garcia has showed some potential so we need to monitor his growth.
Rookie team wise, Ali Sanchez was the prospect but his numbers faded after a quick start last season. (18-years old – GCL: .278). That being said, I have removed him from my ‘prospect’ list.
Summary – Boy, did Salvador Perez make this position look easy.
Catcher is easiest the hardest position to dominate. You not only have to hit well, you have to catch 95+ fastballs, 78mph secondary pitchers that end up in the dirt, take 100mph foul tips in the groin, but you also are supposed to throw 100+ accurate throws to second base ahead of Olympic like speedsters.
The initial stats for Mazeika (226-AB, 5-HR, 48-RBI, .540-slug, 991-OPS) project out to 100+ RBIs for a full 162 game season. Frankly, I don’t know how he throws to second but it can’t be worse than d’Arnaud.
My guess is, if d’Arnaud went down with a season ending injury, the Mets may turn to other clubs to find a permanent replacement for the injury prone catcher.
Rating – C