With Travis d’Arnaud hitting the DL with a fractured right hand, Kevin Plawecki will get the call to be the New York Mets everyday catcher.
Plawecki was a first round supplemental pick in 2012 out of Purdue and is an offense first catcher. Currently, he is more of a doubles hitter than a home run hitter and will likely continue to be the case. He will likely rarely hit more than a dozen home runs, but he will be able to hit for a solid average. He has a .292 average in 296 career minor league games. In addition to the ability to hit for a good average, his career strikeout rate is just over 10%.
The 24-year old jumped into almost every top 100 prospect list ahead of the season, and it is thanks to the bat. He draws a decent number of walks, enough for a .368 OBP in his career.
His defense may be his limitation, while his receiving skills are very good, his arm and footwork leave plenty to be desired. On his best days, the arm plays as average, but that is only when his footwork is on point which is his biggest struggle. He has thrown out 28% of would be base stealers in the minor leagues, and that will likely only go down in the big leagues.
If Plawecki can improve defensively to the point he can throw out a third of baserunners, his receiving ability and bat will make him a guy that must be in a lineup. He doesn’t have the athleticism to play another position regularly, although he has played 19 games at first base in the past three seasons. First base isn’t much of an option for Plawecki as he won’t ever hit for enough power to be a good fit at the position.
The catcher of the future is still d’Arnaud, but Plawecki could become an elite backup with the skills to be a very good starter. A good showing from Plawecki during d’Arnaud’s absence could make him a great trade chip for the Mets to go get a position of greater need, like middle infield, but if he remains with the Mets, he and d’Anaud cold combine to be one of the better offensive catching duos in baseball.