Every spring at 213 we gather a whole bunch of projections for players and average them together to see what a conglomerate of baseball sources think a given player will perform over the year. It’s wholly unscientific – averaging averages and not weighting them for previous accuracy or amount of playing time they feel a player will see.
Travis d’Arnaud is the last one! It’s fitting last year that we started with a player the captured so much of how the Mets operated last year. Before Spring Training, the Mets picked d’Arnaud over Kevin Plawecki, despite health concerns. Then at the start of the season, the Mets picked d’Arnaud over Devin Mesoraco, despite health concerns. Then they rushed d’Arnaud back, he struggled, he somehow ended up on the Dodgers, then quickly ended up on the Rays and put together one of his better seasons in baseball and signed a lucrative deal with the Braves in the off-season. The whole episode felt very Mets like. Last year we tried to figure out where he fell in the Mets depth chart while sharing these projections:
2019 Mets Stats: 25 PA, 23 AB, 0 HR, .087/.154/.083, .237 OPS, -0.3 WAR, 70 DRC+
2019 Rays Stats: 365 PA, 327 AB, 16 HR, .263/.323/.459, .782 OPS, 1.4 WAR, 104 DRC+
As soon as Travis got out of the Mets system, he blossomed into the type of player that we always thought we could be. He turned in such a good season that no singular projection came close to it. The only you could argue that might have had an idea was Baseball Prospectus, but thats only when you add the time with the Mets into the time with the Rays and even then Travis is still performing better than the projections.
If you are down on yourself with how the Mets handled the Travis situation, just remember this – you’re not a Blue Jays fan (probably, if you’re reading this website). This year d’Arnaud finally showed us what he can do and we’ve known for years what Syndergaard could do.