Travis d’Arnaud has been on Baseball America’s top prospect list since 2010. He topped out as the 17th prospect in their 2013 list. He was the key piece that brought Cy Young Award Winner R.A. Dickey to Toronto in the 2012/13 off season.
Since then, due to injury and ineffectiveness, he’s become an afterthought in the fantasy baseball world. He’s only owned in 11% of Yahoo leagues. He’s back now, looking healthy, hitting, and batting in the middle of the Mets Lineup. Is it time to have him back on our radar?
Travis d’Arnaud struggled for close to a half of the season. He sits at a measly .245 average this year with seven home runs. If you don’t own him or weren’t paying close attention to him, you may have missed something interesting; he had a great month of July.
In July he hit .273 with three home runs and an OPS just below .800. Even more interesting, it looks real. His batting average on balls in play was about average and his home run to flyball ratio was at his normal career rate.
SO what changed? He hit more line drives that turned into extra base hits. He hit 6 doubles in July, more than April through June combined. He also doubled his line drive over the first three months of the season.
That all makes for a nice looking July, but is it sustainable? Honesty, it’s probably too early to tell. Until he does it regularly, it could be a skills increase, or small sample size noise. However, he does have two things going for him.
His minor league numbers and scouting reports tell us the month of July is what he’s capable of. His isolated slugging percentage (ISO) in July was .210. His ISO throughout his minor league career was over .200. He also plays catcher. Catchers tend to take longer in their development. He could be in for some ups and downs as he adjusts to the major league game.
At the end of the day he may be turning a corner and starting to live up to his prospect status. He could be in for a nice run down the stretch. Keep an eye on him or take a flyer if you’re struggling for a second catcher with upside. He may be more exciting though as an underrated catcher going into next season. He’ll be on my draft boards next year.