Who is C prospect Travis d’Arnaud?

Screen shot 2012-12-17 at 11.54.21 AM23-year-old C Travis d’Arnaud hit .333 with a .380 OBP, 16 HR and 52 RBI in 67 games for Triple-A Las Vegas last season.

D’Arnaud, which is pronounced ‘Dar-No,’ is Toronto’s top ranked prospect; he is considered the 11th best overall prospect in baseball, according to MLB.com and he was named the best defensive catcher in a 2011 poll of Double-A Eastern League managers.

“For me, he’s the best catching prospect in baseball,” a scouting coordinator of a team not involved in the trade told the New York Times. “He’s made lots of strides offensively. He’s one of those guys who a few years ago you would have said that he could be really good if he put it all together. Well, he’s put it all together and is really good. He’s the rare catcher who can hit in the middle of the lineup.”

Similarly, a talent evaluator who has watched D’Arnaud told Jim Duquette that D’Arnaud’s knee is not an issue.

“The kid has special makeup and a special bat,” the source said, adding that D’Arnaud is a future leader and future All Star.

To see video and a scouting report on d’Arnaud, who is now Sandy Alderson’s best hitting prospect, check out this from MLB.com.

Michael Baron, Contributor

He was Toronto’s top prospect and is said to possess everything a team would want in a young catcher. He has the ability to grow and play the position at a high level, all while hitting for average and power. Catchers who project like that are hard to come by and incredibly difficult to develop, since any time a catcher can hit he is often moved from the position to preserve him for the long haul. For now, the Mets can hopefully turn a position where they had next to nothing into something substantial for the foreseeable future.

Brian Erni

If this happens, d’Arnaud is a huge get for the Mets. d’Arnaud boasts gap-to-gap power, which led to a .311/.371/.542 line with 21 homers, 78 RBI and 33 doubles in 114 games in the Eastern League with Double-A New Hampshire in 2011. After being bumped up to Triple A in 2012, d’Arnaud tore his PCL in June, which forced him to miss the rest of the season. Still, at just 23 years old, I think d’Arnaud has the ability to turn into a dynamic Major League power hitter, although he does have a few kinks in his game. He racked up 100 strikeouts in 466 plate appearances in 2011 and 59 in 303 plate appearances in 2012: numbers that he needs to cut down if he hopes not to be exploited by Major League pitching. Still, d’Arnaud is the real deal, and his acquisition would not only put him atop the Mets’ position player prospect class, but probably give him an inside track at winning the Major League catching job for 2013.

To follow D’Arnaud on Twitter, go here

And there is also this, which you really should watch…