Buy ‘Em or Deny ‘Em: Is The Mets’ Kevin Plawecki Worth Owning Immediately?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

With the Mets losing Travis d’Arnaud to a broken hand, the team will turn to highly touted Kevin Plawecki to fill the void.  Obviously they aren’t going to call him up to simply sit on the bench and the team has already confirmed it as per this tweet from Adam Rubin:

Terry Collins said Kevin Plawecki will be the No. 1 catcher assuming he’s coming.”

So we know he has a job, but the question facing fantasy owners is if he could have any appeal.  He was struggling with the bat at Triple-A early this season, hitting .216 with 0 HR over 37 AB.  He was hitting the ball hard (28.1% line drive rate) and making consistent contact (4 K), so obviously there was some poor luck at play.

He hit .309 last season, splitting time between Double and Triple-A, and owns a .293 career average in the minors.  However, is that really enough?

He’s managed just 26 HR in the minors, including 5 HR in 52 games in the Pacific Coast League.  With a minor league career OFB of 26.5% and now calling CitiField home, it’s hard to imagine him making an impact in the home run department.

Prior to the season here’s what others were saying about his power:

MLB.com – “He has a contact-over-power approach, but he does have enough strength to clear some fences. Plawecki hit 11 homers in 2014 and that sounds about right in terms of what’s fair to expect in the future.”

Rich Wilson of Prospect 361 – “The problem is that his swing path is very level and is more geared for line drives. However, at 6-foot-2 and 225, he has the size and the bat speed that if he decided to change his approach, could give him 10 to 15 home run power.”

Couple those reports with the underlying numbers and you would think that he’s more of a 5-7 HR guy this season.  Considering he’s not going to be up all year long, and even if he is he isn’t going to play every day, you could be looking at even less than that.

He also has no speed, with 1 SB in the minors.  So, we have to ask is he really worth considering?

Maybe he has the potential to hit .300+, in time, but there’s going to be an adjustment period.  He’s not going to be a drain on your average like other catchers, thanks to his ability to make consistent contact, but we’d have to expect .270ish or so, at best, in his first go around in the Majors.  Coupled with a spot likely at the bottom of the Mets lineup, limiting his RBI/R potential, and the fantasy appeal is limited.

If I were going to pick up a young catcher recently promoted to the Majors, I’d be looking at Jacob Realmuto and his 10/10 potential over Plawecki.

Waiver Wire Guidelines:

  • Redraft Leagues (10 teams) – Not Worth It
  • Redraft Leagues (12 teams) – Not Worth It
  • Redraft Leagues (14+ teams) – Not Worth It
  • Two-Catcher Formats – Worth the gamble in 12+ team leagues
  • NL-Only – Must own
  • Keeper Leagues – Only in two-catcher formats
  • Dynasty Leagues – Only in two-catcher formats

Sources – MILB.com, Minor League Central, Baseball Reference, MLB.com, Prospect 361

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