NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Travis d’Arnaud is taking full advantage of his time at Mets camp.
The team’s top positional prospect has impressed his future teammates and coaches. You know, the ones headed to Queens in less than two weeks.
“He’s everything that everybody said about him,” Mets manager Terry Collins said of the young backstop, according to the New York Daily News. “He’s catching a lot, he’s had great improvement behind the plate. He’s not just blocking but receiving the ball. He’s got a good arm. And we all know he can hit.”
D’Arnaud, acquired from Toronto in the R.A. Dickey trade, is expected to begin the season at Triple-A Las Vegas, where he’ll catch top pitching prospect Zack Wheeler.
The Mets are poised to break camp at Port St. Lucie with catchers John Buck and Anthony Recker, though it won’t be long before d’Arnaud squats behind the dish at Citi Field.
“Whether or not he makes the team, I think he’ll be around a little longer,” general manager Sandy Alderson told the Daily News. “One important thing he’s getting is experience with our pitching at the major league level. So even if he goes down, that familiarity will be very valuable when he comes back.”
The 24-year-old is batting .345 with four doubles in 13 games this spring.
“I’m feeling loose and just having fun, not trying to overstress myself and over-think everything,” d’Arnaud said Monday.
His play at catcher also has the Mets raving.
“Three starts with him and almost like we’ve been with each other for a couple years,” said starter Matt Harvey. “I couldn’t say anything better about him learning each pitcher and especially me.”
“He’s close — real close,” bench coach and catching instructor Bob Geren told the New York Post. “There are no major weaknesses.”
Should the Mets scrap their plan and start the season with d’Arnaud? Be heard in the comments…