We’ve hit most of the big boys in the projection series. Now, more so than ever, everything revolves around playing time. There are so many moving parts to the story, ones that are likely interconnected. So, we’ll be doing multiple people at a time, starting with today’s catcher entry.

Travis d’Arnaud can’t stay healthy and last year when he did play he wasn’t very good. Rene Rivera is a good defensive player but other than running into an occasional homer, he doesn’t offer much with a bat in his hands. And there’s Kevin Plawecki, too. Here are our individual forecasts for this trio:

Dalton Allsion 390 .640 450 .660 320 .637
Joe Barbieri 445 .754 126 .559 214 .648
John Fox 404 .785 189 .625 70 .610
Charlie Hangley 390 .735 212 .690 200 .725
Brian Joura 417 .771 165 .610 48 .590
Mike Koehler 370 .750 170 .600 50 .520
Matt Netter 350 .790 200 .620 50 .490
Jim O’Malley 385 .685 218 .612 162 .576
Rob Rogan 402 .750 166 .610 58 .630
Mike Ryan 515 .722 130 .604 90 .580
Chris Walendin 450 .811 150 .625 75 .645

Last year Mets catchers totaled 623 PA. The most by any position was the 722 turned in by right fielders, buoyed by Curtis Granderson leading off a fair number of times. As a group, we struggled some with this concept, especially as it’s highly unlikely any of these guys will see time at another position, and that includes designated hitter. Sure, they may get a handful of pinch-hitting appearances. And we can hope that the offense will score more runs, leading to more PA for everyone. But there’s no way this trio should account for 700 PA.

Focusing on individual players, it’s a bit of a surprise that no one expected fewer than 350 PA for d’Arnaud. Five people had him reaching at least 400 and Mike R. had him with 515. Our production was all over the map, too. Neither Dalton nor Jim saw him cracking a .700 OPS. Meanwhile, eight of us saw him comfortably in the 700s and Chris is the most optimistic with an .811 forecast.

Only one person saw either Rivera or Plawecki cracking a .700 OPS, with Charlie expecting Plawecki to post a .725 OPS. Five of us saw him failing to reach the .600 level, with Matt suggesting he wouldn’t even crack a .500 mark, albeit in just 50 PA. No one really sees Rivera as much of a threat. For his sake, too bad we didn’t ask about controlling the running game.

Here is our group forecast for the catching trio:


After what we saw last year, it seems most Mets fans would be happy if any of the three catchers delivered the .750 OPS in 411 PA that we project for d’Arnaud. Let’s look at the projections from the computer models:

Mets360 411 .750 198 .612 122 .610
Steamer 308 .737 179 .627 58 .659
ZiPS 363 .702 277 .622 399 .656

Compared to the computers, we’re very optimistic on d’Arnaud, about right on Rivera and pessimistic on Plawecki.

The ZiPS comp for d’Arnaud is Randy Hundley, who was extremely durable for four straight years and then never again able to reach those earlier heights. Mets fans probably know him better as the father of Todd Hundley. The comp for Rivera is Nelson Santovenia, a Cuban player from an era when we didn’t have many people from there. For Plawecki, the comp is Jason Jaramillo, who played with the Pirates from 2009-2011 but who has already been erased from my memory banks.

Check back Saturday when we project some infielders.

4 comments on “Mets360 2017 projections: Travis d’Arnaud, Rene Rivera & Kevin Plawecki

  • Sinhalo27

    Given history, what we’ve seen from TDA- all the projections are very bullish. He is an Achilles heel in this organization. If they were that concerned with having a defensive leader and quality ML catcher they would sign Wieters and thus begin that bridge to KP and/or Nído in doing so.

  • Jimmy P

    It’s sad & useless when a computer system, ZIPS, forecasts 1,039 PAs for the Mets catchers.

    A computer should know better.

    I think this is the same system that had both Conforto and Bruce getting 500+ PAs.

    • Brian Joura

      Yeah, I agree. I’m going to have Dan S. on the podcast and I’ll ask him about this. I imagine his response will be similar to what Bill James used to say about his system, something along the lines of this is how much playing time Player X deserves, not what he’s likely to get.

  • Mike Walczak

    Baseball is so unpredictable. Watch TDA hit 25 HRs. Who saw Porcello winning 20 games last year ? You never know. Oh, by the way, his 25 HRs were in stratomatic baseball.

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