Skip to main content

What happened to Travis d’Arnaud?

What happened to Travis d’Arnaud?
Travis d'Arnaud

Travis d’Arnaud hasn’t broken out in 2016 as many expected

Travis d’Arnaud joined the Mets organization in 2012 with the prestigious reputation of having been traded for two Cy Young Award winners – Roy Halladay and R.A. Dickey.

Well, now he has received a heightened dose of those expectations served on an increasingly larger dish. With the New York Mets’ reeling and falling rapidly out of the playoff picture, much has been asked of the 27-year-old this season but little has been produced.

Get free start/sit and waiver wire advice for your fantasy team partner-arrow

d’Arnaud, despite his injury respite early in the year, has not been impervious to the Mets’ timely hitting epidemic as he has yet to record an extra-base hit with runners in scoring position. The pressing concern is the fact that d’Arnaud has continued to struggle even after constant trade rumors surrounding his possible departure finally ended after the August 1st deadline. Not helping the catcher’s case has been his frequent inability to control the running game from behind the dish. Granted, the Metropolitans’ pitchers don’t make matters easier, particularly Noah Syndergaard (and his slow, high leg kick) whose 40 stolen bases surrendered are the most in baseball with teammate Matz slotting in right behind him in second with half the totals. Ironically, Syndergaard and d’Arnaud represent the package general manager Sandy Alderson received for then-reigning Cy Young Winner R.A. Dickey in 2012. The only quandary in this equation is that d’Arnaud was the featured prospect in the deal while “Thor” was considered a raw talent (at that time in Single-A) who was still several years away from living up to his eventual magnetic monicker. Now the tables have been turned.

With d’Arnaud’s inconsistency, veteran Rene Rivera’s playing time has increased as manager Terry Collins now uses Rivera exclusively to catch Syndergaard’s outings and has even been playing the 33-year-old veteran ahead of D’Arnaud around two to three times a week. I would stray away from keeping d’Arnaud for the rest of this season as his ineptitude regarding the running game has grown more worrisome by the day and is further magnified by Syndergaard and Matz’s near equal struggles to hold runners on. Teams are now game planning for the Mets’ with the tacit intent to run on their pitchers and d’Arnaud and constantly assert pressure on New York. Consequently, d’Arnaud’s playing time has dissipated. Baseball fans received a glaring dose of the youngster’s deficiencies behind the plate in last year’s Fall Classic as Ned Yost’s small-ball, scrappy Royals seemed to run on him at will. For his career, the four-year player has thrown out about just 30% of would-be bag thieves.

Moreover, d’Arnaud has fallen into the poor habit of wrapping the bat too much around his head before beginning the route of his swing. The wrapping, as Mets’ T.V. color commentators has alluded to, has seemed even more exaggerated of late and could be contributing to his measly 11 extra-base hits in 50 contests thus far this season. He is not getting the bat through the zone and is fouling off balls that he would (at this point last year) have ripped into the left-center field gap or over the center fielder’s head. The proof is knee deep in the pudding as the former 37th overall pick’s slugging percentage has fallen to .355 from last year’s impressive .485 mark. A valuable indicator of his difficulties at the plate is his career high 30% of recorded foul balls on strikes seen this season. Delaying your bat’s arrival into the zone in today’s game where everyone and their brother seems to hurl 95 mile per hour gas your way is not a recipe for success.

While armed with vast potential offensively, the former first-round pick’s Achilles heel (no pun intended) set him back yet again in the form of a shoulder injury that befell him back in late April and caused him to miss nearly two full months. Over his career, he has missed about half of his games and his absences have mostly been due to injury. The frustrating part within the Mets’ organization is the fact that the 27-year-old seemed primed for a breakout season after last year’s auspicious campaign that saw his numbers, translated over 162 games, equate to roughly 25 home runs and 85 RBI along with an impressive .485 slugging percentage. That’s not too shabby for a then 26-year-old receiver who is somewhat diminutive in stature.

The jury is still out on d’Arnaud as the potential is definitely there. Even amidst a trying campaign, over 60% of the catcher’s base hits have been laced up the middle, typically a telling sign of a pure hitter. Actually, d’Arnaud and his brother Chase (who plays for the Braves) were forced to learn traditional, solid hitting fundamentals in their childhood wiffle ball days as they aimed to avoid hitting houses on either side of their narrow street by mashing the ball up the middle. The Mets’ receiver is slowly starting to hit the ball better in his last few games and if New York wants to keep their season alive come October, he will have to become a consistent threat in their perpetually inconsistent lineup.

Anthony Castellano is a correspondent at FantasyPros. To read more from Anthony, check out his archive and follow him @AcasNY23.

More Articles

Fantasy Football Draft Sleepers: Tight Ends With Top-5 Potential (2024)

Fantasy Football Draft Sleepers: Tight Ends With Top-5 Potential (2024)

fp-headshot by Josh Shepardson | 1 min read
Top 50 Fantasy Baseball Starting Pitcher Rankings: Week 4 (2024)

Top 50 Fantasy Baseball Starting Pitcher Rankings: Week 4 (2024)

fp-headshot by Ryan Pasti | 2 min read
6 Fantasy Baseball Players Trending Up & Down (Week 3)

6 Fantasy Baseball Players Trending Up & Down (Week 3)

fp-headshot by Hunter Langille | 3 min read
NBA DraftKings & FanDuel DFS Primer: Friday (4/12)

NBA DraftKings & FanDuel DFS Primer: Friday (4/12)

fp-headshot by Joel Bartilotta | 1 min read

About Author

Hide

Current Article

3 min read

Fantasy Football Draft Sleepers: Tight Ends With Top-5 Potential (2024)

Next Up - Fantasy Football Draft Sleepers: Tight Ends With Top-5 Potential (2024)

Next Article