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Why Travis d’Arnaud Belongs Behind The Plate
- Updated: April 19, 2013
After news broke that Mets top prospect Travis d’Arnaud suffered a non-displaced fracture in the first metarsal bone, it sent fans into a frenzy regarding d’Arnaud’s future with the team. Many people have been saying that it is not in the best interest of the franchise to keep d’Arnaud behind the plate as a catcher. I have heard numerous fans calling for the Mets to move Travis to either 1st base or a corner outfield position. There have even been rumors swirling around Twitter that this is what the Mets plan to do once d’Arnaud is healthy again. I am not buying this rumor for one second, and neither should you.
I am by no means a Sandy Alderson apologist, but I think it is safe to say that Sandy has a strong baseball mind, and he generally bases his decisions on logic. If this is the case, then d’Arnaud will remain a catcher. There are several factors that indicate that moving d’Arnaud’s position would not only hurt his own career, but it would also make the RA Dickey trade look terrible.
When the Mets traded Dickey months ago, they had several trade options. They could have traded him to the Rangers for a package centered around Mike Olt. They also could have got Anthony Gose from Toronto instead of d’Arnaud. The Mets ended up going with d’Arnaud as their trade centerpiece for one specific reason: offensive minded catchers are very difficult to come by. If Alderson did not believe that Travis d’Arnaud was a long term catcher, he would still be part of the Blue Jays’ organization.
The main argument that fans have is that d’Arnaud is “injury prone”. There is no denying that d’Arnuad has missed a lot of time due to injuries, but none of them have been reoccurring. People are not realizing that we are talking about a ball that was fouled off his foot. This could have happened to anyone. d’Arnaud has also experienced some back and knee problems in his past, but he has not felt any pain or symptoms in quite some time. d’Arnaud has been the recipient of some terrible luck the past few seasons, and the injuries he has missed is nothing to be worried about just yet.
Take a look at Buster Posey. The guy got destroyed on a play at the plate and broke his leg a few years ago. His broken leg was much more serious than any injury d’Arnuad has experienced. Did the Giants panic and move him to left field? Nope. Part of what makes d’Arnaud a special prospect is the fact that he is a catcher. d’Arnaud was a top twenty prospect on MLB.com this spring. If he was an outfielder or first baseman originally, he would not sniff the top twenty. His bat does not profile for these positions, and his value would exponentially decrease if he was ever moved to there.
Now, back to this rumor that the Mets are considering moving d’Arnaud’s position. I am confident that Sandy Alderson will not set this franchise backwards by throwing him in the outfield after a freak accident. d’Arnaud will make his debut for the Mets later this season, and it will be behind the plate.