Spring Training Battle: Can A Mets’ Catcher Emerge As A Viable Fantasy Option?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Despite the obvious questions surrounding the position the Mets appear prepared to enter the year with Travis d’Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki sharing catching duties.  Both were once fairly highly regarded, though upon reaching the Majors they’ve continually fallen flat.  Could either step up and produce?  Could either emerge as a viable option?  Or, at the end of the day, should fantasy owners be hoping for a surprise signing (aka Jonathan Lucroy) or await the arrival of Tomas Nido?


Travis d’Arnaud
The problem for d’Arnaud has been more centered on his health, which is fair considering his career high in PA was 421 coming in 2014.  That doesn’t mean that the production itself has been anything special, though.  Take 2017 for instance:

.244 (85-348), 16 HR, 57 RBI, 39 R, 0 SB

He’s hit 12+ HR in three of the past four seasons, though he’s generally paired it with a disappointing average (.245 for his career).  It’s not that he strikes out a significant amount (16.7% for his career), though his SwStr% did spike (11.3%) and there’s the risk of a regression.  Couple that with a below average line drive rate (16.8% in ’17, 18.5% for his career) and elevated popup rate (13.8% for his career) and it’s hard to find upside.

While he produced significantly better against left-handed pitching last season, over the course of his career that hasn’t been the case:

  • LHP – .250/.323/.417
  • RHP – .244/.301/.403

Maybe this is the year he puts it together, but at 29-years old and given the underlying metrics it’s hard to get excited.

Single-Catcher Formats – Monitor off waiver wire
Two-Catcher Formats – Desperation risk


Kevin Plawecki
Plawecki actually showed signs of production, both at Triple-A and in the Majors last season:

  • Triple-A – .328 (81-247), 9 HR, 45 RBI, 37 R
  • Majors – .260 (26-100), 3 HR, 13 RBI, 11 R

With 22 doubles and 1 triple there’s promise, especially as he showed a strong approach in the Majors with a 9.5% SwStr% and 27.6% O-Swing%.  He was also hitting the ball hard at each level (24.8% line drive rate at Triple-A, 23.8% in the Majors) and while he was lucky at Triple-A (.350 BABIP) there’s even more upside in the Majors (.284 BABIP).

He’s not going to be a significant source of power, but a strong average (.265+) could be a valuable option compared to the rest of the league.  The question is if he can get regular AB, and if that happens he’ll be a solid sleeper in all two-catcher formats.

Single-Catcher Formats – Monitor off waiver wire
Two-Catcher Formats – Sleeper worth monitoring

Source – Fangraphs

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Make sure to check out all of our 2018 Preseason Rankings:

Standard League
OBP League
First Basemen01/08/1802/09/18
Second Basemen01/15/1802/13/18
Third Basemen03/09/1803/06/18
Outfielders1-20: 03/18/18

21-40: 03/19/18
1-20: 03/12/18

Starting Pitchers1-20: 03/24/18

21-40: 03/24/18
Relief Pitchers02/12/18--

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