By: Glenn Brewer

How The Mets Got Here: Player Profile: Kevin Plawecki


At the beginning of the 2015 season, the catcher position was held strong by Travis D’Arnaud. In addition, Anthony Recker has been a solid back-up catcher the last few seasons. Recker has provided solid defense with some pop to the lineup. With the major league squad set at the catcher position, the top catching prospect was waiting in the wings in Las Vegas. Plawecki showed the staff that he was ready for the major leagues in spring training. Heading north for the spring, Plawecki showed the skill to fill in for an injury.

Injuries are exactly what was happening for Travis D’Arnaud. Unfortunately D’Arnaud has had injury issues in his young career. D’Arnaud went down early in the season with a broken finger. It was a blow to the team’s offense after D’Arnaud was off to a hot start. Although the coaching staff was comfortable with Recker as the backup, it was clear that Recker could not handle the everyday responsibilities for the extended period of time D’Arnaud would be out. Plawecki was soon called up to the big club and inserted into the starting lineup. A tough job for a rookie, Plawecki was able to handle the pitching staff well, but his bat took some time to adjust. It was later revealed that Plawecki was suffering from vertigo like symptoms, and sitting out games for dizziness. Given the difficulty of playing under these circumstances as a rookie, it showed the grit necessary for a starting backstop. This also gave insight into the fact that Plawecki was not just adjusting to major league pitching, but dealing with much more adversity. Once Plawecki was cleared of the symptoms, he immediately began to improve at the plate. The at-bats were stronger, patient and contributing clutch hits.

Defensively Plawecki has held his own. He has handled the pitching staff admirably and been able to get down and block the balls in the dirt. With more time and experience, Plawecki will be the better defensive option over D’Arnaud in the future. As a hitter, Plawecki has shown flashes of why he was so successful in the minor leagues. Although Plawecki has the tendency to pull the ball, he is at his best when staying back and driving the ball to right field. Shortening his already long stride will give him the necessary mechanics to shorten his swing and drive all pitches the opposite way. Along with shortening the stride, Plawecki’s hands have a lot of movement before entering the hitting zone. With a shorter path to the ball, Plawecki will be able to drive the inside fastball to left field, and stay back on the off speed.

After a brief return by D’Arnaud in June, he suffered an arm injury in Atlanta that landed him back on the DL. Plawecki once again served as the starting catcher, and was able to help contribute to the Mets staying in the pennant race. Since D’Arnaud has returned from his recent DL stint, Plawecki was sent to Las Vegas to get some more at bats. As of September 1st, Plawecki was called up and has contributed in his few opportunites. Plawecki deserves to be here for the September run to the division and more importantly should be on the playoff roster.

About Glenn Brewer

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