Yesterday because they had nothing new to write about the New York Mets, another beat writer for the Daily News made up a story about the Mets possibly trading Zack Wheeler and Travis d’Arnaud (TdA) for Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton. First of all, it’s a non-issue because neither team really wants it to, but what’s interesting was the fan backlash it generated with respect to the future superstar status of TdA. It seems most Mets fans would not do this deal (if it even existed).
Let’s get something straight about Travis d’Arnaud that Met fans are not going to like: if you’re expecting him to be another Mike Piazza or even Gary Carter, it’s not going to happen. You will be disappointed if that’s what you think he’ll bring to the table for the Mets. Instead, think more along the lines of a Jerry Grote – a decent all around player, possibly a good game caller, but certainly not a superstar – and that’s not necessarily bad considering what the Mets tried to pass off as catchers over the past few years.
How do I know this? I’ve actually seen d’Arnaud play in Las Vegas. I’ve also seen Bryce Harper play as a 16 year old and knew immediately that he’d be a star. I’ve seen d’Arnaud play and also know he’s going to be an above average serviceable player – and that’s it. Fan’s talking about him being the next Piazza are in for a rude awakening, trust me.
I know d’Arnaud is a top rated prospect, but he’s a top rated CATCHING prospect and in today’s baseball minor leagues, there’s not a whole lot of competition at that position. Kids – if you’re looking for a quick route to the major leagues, become a catcher. If you’re halfway decent, you’ll be in big demand.
As for the made-up trade proposition: You almost always trade minor league prospects for PROVEN major league talent. Almost always! Especially if those prospects are being mentored and developed by the Mets minor league system, who over-inflate talent potentials such as Lastings Milledge, Alex Escobar, Carlos Gomez, Alex Ochoa, Fernando Martinez, Paul Wilson, etc. – the list goes on and on. And all of which were considered “can’t miss” prospects by the Met organization.
I don’t care that d’Arnaud came from Toronto’s minor league system. It’s on the Mets now to develop his talents from this point onward. Knowing a little about player development myself and having seen him firsthand, I can tell you without a doubt you’re looking at solid, but not spectacular player in d’Arnaud, and the sooner Mets fans understand that, the more likely they’ll be okay with trading him for a 40 homerun, 100 rbi player.
d’Arnaud is playing in Las Vegas and is a top rated prospect in the Mets farm system with a long history of developing bust players. What are the odds of him becoming “Piazza-like”? Give me Grote – I’ll take it … and trade it away if anything outstanding and proven comes along!
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