MLB.com’s Jim Callis believes Travis d’Arnaud is the best catching prospect in baseball, whereas MiLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo prefers Padres C Austin Hedges.
“Scouts remain bullish on d’Arnaud because he has the potential to contribute offensively and defensively like few backstops can,” Callis writes in MLB.com’s Pipeline Perspectives series. “That’s what makes him the game’s top catching prospect.”
Mayo says he simply prefers Hedges because of his superior defensive skills. However, he points out, “the main reason I wouldn’t take d’Arnaud is the fact that he should have graduated off of prospect lists long ago.”
MLB.com ranked d’Arnaud as the game’s 20th best overall prospect in baseball. Hedges ranked 34.
Michael Baron, Contributor
The gripe about d’Arnaud’s health isn’t unfounded. He has missed significant time due to these leg injuries and it slowed his arrival to the big leagues, potentially by a full season, if not more. The front office has expressed concern about d’Arnaud’s durability, although his most recent injuries weren’t the result of a chronic condition, and more of a standard baseball injury.
When healthy, d’Arnaud has produced in the minor leagues. He got off to a slow start upon being promoted to the big leagues last summer, but he did show flashes of his talent, an indication of what he’s capable of doing if he can stay on the field. On top of that, every pitcher on the staff loved throwing to d’Arnaud, thought he was a great receiver, and called a good game. He is a student of catching and cares very much about his craft.