Future Positional Analysis – Catcher


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


Thomas Brennan said...

I would be less negative on Plawecki. He got rushed a bit in 2015. I think he climbs in 2016. I am excited to see Mazelka's 2016 encore

Ernest Dove said...

Regarding Plawecki

Look no further than his teammate Travis to see what its like to try and adjust to everything as a rookie catcher. ....although I do have concerns abiut Plawecki strikeout totals. He was supposed to be a guy who didn't strikeout. I exoectt him go be fine and improve his numbers in 2016. And since Mets have their rotation for rest of this decade perhaps they should consider having one of their stud arms make plawecki their personal catcher or something as part of plans Mets reportedly have to play both guys often anyway.

Thomas Brennan said...

Get one or both a 1B glove. Sit Duda vs. Lefties. Expand the overall season at bats of Travis and Kevin that way.

Mack Ade said...

The worst thing that could have happened to Plawecki was winding up as the backup catcher. You simply are never going to be used in a game that needs to have a catcher available in case of an injury and your trade potential is roduced to the limited amount of time he had as a starter.

The best thing that could have happened to this guy is him remaining in Vegas in 2016. He'd probably be on another team now (for a decent trade partner) and Recker would backup d'Arnaud in 2016

Thomas Brennan said...

Monell could back up??

Thomas Brennan said...

Monell could back up??

Adam Smith said...

I also have a feeling that Plawecki has more to offer than we've seen from him. Without looking back at the numbers, my sense is that the staff performed well with Plaw behind the dish. That's important. He's three years younger than d'Arnaud. Don't give up on him yet.

Mack Ade said...


Yes, Monell could easily be backup catcher (becase of what the role is).

Mack Ade said...

Adam -

I'm not really giving up on Plawecki. I just don't think that d'Arnaud is as injury prone (bad luck?) as many say he is and I don't see a slot for him on the team.

And yes, you are right. The pitchers do love Plawecki catching him.

(BTW... top throwing arm in the organization... 50+% out rate throwing to 2B... Ali Sanchez

Buddy3 said...


Your website and so you are entitled to your opinion and be given a wide berth, but I think you are way too critical on where you projected to few of the prospects.

Has a World Series made you a tougher grader, especially with 18 year old Ali Sanchez?

Mack Ade said...

Buddy3 -

I just paid Sanchez a compliment two comments above.

Bat wise, he was red hot the first half of last season and then cooled off for the rest. Still far too early to project a kid like him.

I don't do Mets prospect lists anymore. That's Tom's and Chris's forte.

Thomas Brennan said...

It should spell itself out in spring training, but having Monell as back up and Plawecki in AAA for a while might not hurt.

I looked at Monell's AAA splits last year. Very sold vs. righties, unconscious surprisingly against lefties. Clearly, he has not translated that to the major league level, but maybe he adjusts and improves a lot in 2016. If not, can always recall Plawecki.

I still think it will be TDA and KP as our 2016 catching tandem, with Monell as a fall back. Recker signed with Cleveland BTW.

Robb said...

Someone wrote about KP that he'd start to hit when he was 27 and that seemed right, he was rushed. He's 23/24. He'd be the number one catcher prospect for 2/3 of the teams in baseball at the moment.

Id say theres no position i'm more comfortable with in the organization, maybe 2b bc they ten guys who could shift there, then catcher. D'A could be a star, if he stays healthy. KP could spend a year in the minors crushing it or hit 245 and call a good game in the majors now. and Sanchez is 18 and has all the right tools.

I have no idea what the cardinals catcher depth is but its been moot for a decade anyway bc of molina. i kind of feel the same way about the mets though D'A is not Molina.

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