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The centerpiece of the Mets' big offseason trades, Travis D'Arnaud is expected to be the Mets' catcher of the future and possibly a cornerstone player in a short amount of time.
D'Arnaud has yet to see any major league action. He was drafted by the Phillies in 2007, but got traded to the Blue Jays prior to the 2010 season in the deal that sent Roy Halladay to the Phillies. Since then, D'Arnaud has spent the past three seasons in the Blue Jays' minor league system.
This year should, and most likely will be, the year in which D'Arnaud finally gets to play in the major leagues. He could make the Mets roster out of spring training, but could also spend a month or two in the minor leagues developing a bit further. Time will tell whether the Mets decide to have him as their Opening Day starting catcher or to wait until late April or May to call him up.
D'Arnaud is an above-average hitter for a catcher and should certainly provide more offense than any Mets catcher has since Paul LoDuca's 2006 season. The goal of 20-25 home runs should be reasonable for D'Arnaud, as well as 85-100 RBI over a full season. D'Arnaud should also be capable of hitting at least close to .300, based on his career .286 minor league average.
If D'Arnaud stays healthy, he could be a great catcher for years to come. The Mets have been well known over the years for possessing some of the best catchers of their respective eras. This includes Jerry Grote, John Stearns, Gary Carter, Todd Hundley and Mike Piazza, who had all spent a significant number of seasons with the Mets. D'Arnaud has the potential to continue this great trend for Mets catchers.
2013 Projections: .287 Average, 23 Home Runs, 91 RBI, .348 OBP