Kevin Plawecki should be the Mets’ starting catcher

It was not long ago that Travis d’Arnaud was regarded as one of the top prospects that the Mets possessed. As an organization, the Mets had not seen a productive catcher since the likes of Paul Lo Duca sat behind home for the 2006 and 2007 seasons. Before even reaching the big leagues, d’Arnaud drew offensive comparisons to Hall of Famer Mike Piazza. So far however, the only thing that has been consistent about his career has been his injuries.

Even through the minors, his injuries were a main concern. 2013 he made his debut however, and he is still a mainstay with the team. When 2015 rolled around, the Mets knew that they had to bring a backup in to make sure they had insurance for an injury however. After a couple of seasons from Anthony Recker, this backup came in the form of Kevin Plawecki. Plawecki, who quickly ascended through the minor league system after being a 2012 first round pick, played a formidable back up role to d’Arnaud. The 2015 season gave Plawecki his career high of 21 RBIs.

Since then, the two catchers have been seen as a tandem due to how often d’Arnaud misses action. Moving into the 2018 season, d’Arnaud is expected to be the Opening Day catcher. Plawecki is making Mickey Callaway think twice about that. Plawecki has had a stellar spring. His offensive numbers have sparkled, as he’s hitting .333 with a home run and 7 RBIs. Add this on to the fact that he has improved his defense and he has a serious case to be in the opening lineup, and not d’Arnaud. The play that he made when Harvey spiked a pitch to throw out a dashing baserunner at home plate was straight off of a highlight reel. Harvey pitched well in that outing as well, as he has slowly but steadily began to progress after rough outings to start the spring.

I am all for Plawecki getting more time behind the plate. Last season, Plawecki struggled to produce anything in the early onset. He was bounced up and down from Las Vegas, which must wear down an athlete after a while. When the season started to come to a close, Plawecki started to turn his game on. He ended with a .260 batting average, and an even more impressive OBP of .364. Both of these figures were higher than d’Arnaud’s.

Sure, d’Arnaud has spent more time in the major leagues. It is getting hard to be able to rely on a catcher that gets injured as often as d’Arnaud does though. I’d rather roll with Plawecki, who has shown solid offensive improvement, and has less of a track record of injuries than an oft injured d’Arnaud.

Now that Rene Rivera is gone, expect Plawecki to be receive more playing time. If his numbers stay consistent as they have been throughout the end of last season and this spring, then he may get more opportunities than d’Arnaud does. Maybe this competition will kick d’Arnaud into a better version of himself. Who knows. This team has been lacking production from the catching position for far too long now, and Plawecki may finally be able to pull through and do so.

8 comments for “Kevin Plawecki should be the Mets’ starting catcher

  1. Madman
    March 17, 2018 at 11:09 am

    Rivera is probably better than both of them!

  2. Mike Walczak
    March 17, 2018 at 11:48 am

    I’ll take Plawecki over dar-no. Plawecki is also 2 years younger.

  3. Eraff
    March 17, 2018 at 1:59 pm

    This entire concert of “Starting Catcher”… i’m entirely happy that they’ll split time. I wish it was L/R, but they should help each other remain fresh and more productive.

    This is not a worry spot, imho

  4. Tiller
    March 17, 2018 at 2:52 pm

    Tell me more about Anthony Recker. What’s he known for?

  5. Name
    March 17, 2018 at 5:45 pm

    Did you even look at d’Arnaud’s stats?

    Plawecki after Aug 19 – .303/.411/.474 – 885 OPS
    D’arnaud after Aug 19 – .297/.350/.571 – 921 OPS

    Plawecki Spring Training – .333/.419/.519 – 938 OPS
    D’arnuad Spring Training – .296/.441/.481 – 923 OPS

    At best (if you choose to simply ignore Plawecki’s horrible track record the last 3 years), you could argue an equal time share. Otherwise, his upside is backup catcher, and a pretty average one at that.

  6. Eraff
    March 17, 2018 at 5:54 pm

    These guys are both relatively “Young” prime year catchers…. Name..Have You looked at the Catchers on all the teams and Their Stats??

    Having Two Rotational Catchers is a pretty good position—neither are defensive genius level, but with some sort of 50/50-65/35 split, they will be well rested and productive

    • Name
      March 17, 2018 at 6:46 pm

      League average starting catchers can hit over 700 OPS.

      Plawecki has been a sub .600 hitter his entire Major league career except for the last 6 weeks of 2017. That’s not even good enough for backup material on most teams.
      I would be dismissing him entirely as a major league player, but he did finally show a bit something last year in Vegas, as his OPS was finally significantly higher than the team average, so i’m granting him an upside of an average MLB backup.

  7. Eraff
    March 18, 2018 at 8:48 am

    Name–there are 9 catchers with more than 400 ab’s…nine!

    Here’s a list of all the guys who have over 350

    The Catcher position is predominantly a Job Share throughout MLB. Last Season’s Job Share produced 96 RBI for the Mets…and that was pretty good versus the rest of MLB

    The Guys that were loved and pined for–Weiters and LuCroy– have each been on downward tracks—and their Job Shares produced lesser results than the Mets.

    Ideally, the position would be split by L/R…it’s not, but the fact is that all catchers benefit Offensively with Rest. Whatever these guys are ready to produce, it’s going to be inproved with a more even split.

    d’Arnaud is not a guy I like at all with the Glove…and he’s a one trick pony offensively, imho—but he has had some production as an MLB Catcher, and I expect moderate improvement.

    Plawecki: I’m a big fan of him as a Rotational Catcher…and I realize the Flimsy evidence. I believe they did a Mind F$%k on him as a young hitter… I expect hom to hit a Heavy 250-270 with some increasing Pop, and Improving defense.

    The Catcher position is my last worry with this team.

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