Monday, March 31, 2014

Travis D'Arnaud (Mets, Catcher) 2013 Season Analysis

Travis D'Arnaud (Mets, Catcher)


D'Arnaud came on the scene last year as the league's top catching prospect, and had a disappointing rookie year.  Let's take a closer look at what happened....


112 PA - .202 - 20-for-99 - 3 doubles - 1 HR - 4 R - 5 RBI - 12 BB - 21 K


Pitches Seen: 452 Total Pitches

Fastballs: 312 (120 Four seam, 145 Sinker, 47 Cutter) -- poor eye (65% swing rate at pitches in the zone vs. 31% swing rate at pitches out of the zone) with a league average likelihood to swing and miss (18% whiff/swing)
Breaking: 104 (59 Slider, 49 Curve) -- a very good eye (57% swing rate at pitches in the zone vs. 19% swing rate at pitches out of the zone) with a league average likelihood to swing and miss (32% whiff/swing).
Offspeed: 36 changeups -- an exceptionally good eye (89% swing rate at pitches in the zone vs. 37% swing rate at pitches out of the zone) and with an above average likelihood to swing and miss (39% whiff/swing).

Batted Balls


Line Drives:  14 (17.7 %)
Ground Balls: 37 (46.8 %)
Fly Balls: 28 (35.4 %)


Zone Profile (pictured below)

D'Arnaud hit the ball well when it was low and middle in (18-for-53 for a .340 avg.), but was incredibly inefficient when swinging at a pitch in any other location (2-for-46 for a .043 avg.).

Travis D'Arnaud Strike Zone
D'Arnaud likes it inside.

Now let's see what happened when he made contact.
Line drives: clearly D'Arnaud likes it low and inside.  He got good wood/line drives on a majority of the batted balls (purple/red squares).  He looked for pitches in.  But when they were away, he almost never hit a LD.  He didn't adjust well to anything outside of what he was looking for.

Travis D'Arnaud Line Drives Per Balls In Play
D'Arnaud puts good wood on inside pitches.


Groundballs: As you'll often see, pitchers were able to take advantage of the low and away location to get D'Arnaud to roll over a weakly hit grounder .

Travis D'Arnaud Ground Balls Per Balls In Play
Heavy grounders for D'Arnaud when the ball is low and away.

Flyballs: Similar to grounders, flyballs were hit when the ball was away and up.  This is a sign he was just not comfortable looking for anything away.

Travis D'Arnaud Fly Balls Per Balls In Play
Flyballs for D'Arnaud when it's up and away.


But, here's the good news...

Over his last 10 games, D'Arnaud went 10-for-35, with 6 K's (17% K rate), compared to his previous 10-for-64, with 15 K's (23% K rate).  And in his last 4 games, D'Arnaud saw 74 pitches in 16 plate appearances (4.6 pitches per AB).

So, despite the small sample size, there still are things you can play around with to get a better picture of a player's performance.  Looking at D'Arnaud, he was clearly just trying to get back into the groove after some time off with injuries, and focused on zoning anything middle in.  He reacted to pitches outside when he had to, and couldn't make good contact.

But, the improvements as the season went on, dealing with pitch recognition, show that this kid is not a .200 hitter.  I love D'Arnaud's upside as one of the top hitting catching prospects in baseball.

No comments:

Post a Comment