Travis d’Arnaud’s talent is being called into question by people around baseball, according to Andy Martino in the New York Daily News.
“He’s 24 and hasn’t played in the big leagues yet. Where was Yadi (Molina) at 24? Where was Buster Posey at 24?” a baseball evaluator told Martino.
The Mets, though, seem to see him much differently.
d’Arnaud, who has appeared near the top of many minor league player rankings recently, was praised for “nearly flawless” performance by Mets coaches after a recent Spring Training game, Martino said.
Brian ErniTo answer the talent evaluator’s question: In 2007, Molina was coming off a full Major League season in which he played 129 games and hit .216/.274/.321. In his year at 24-years-old, he hit .275/.340/.368. It wasn’t until he was 28 (2011) that he slugged double digit home runs and had an OPS over .750. Posey’s age 24 season was 2011, when the collision at the plate cut his season short at just 45 games, but he had already won the Rookie of the Year and a World Series championship the year before.
All that said: it’s a completely worthless comparison that pits d’Arnaud against two of the most successfully developed catchers in the game. Each player’s path to the Majors is unique. Since individual and organizational factors all contribute to the timing of a player’s call up, what was good for Molina or Posey won’t necessarily right for d’Arnaud. Barring any health problems, it’s a virtual certainty that we’ll see d’Arnaud at Citi Field this summer. Until then, I’m more interested in how he interacts with the pitching staff, makes adjustments to Major League-caliber pitchers, and handles the pressure of being a top prospect for a New York team: all of which he is seemingly doing with ease.