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Travis d’Arnaud is on fire since returning from the minors

Jul 19, 2014, 11:48 AM EDT

Travis d'Arnaud Getty Getty Images

The Mets had big expectations for Travis d’Arnaud when they acquired him from the Blue Jays as part of the R.A. Dickey trade in December of 2012, but he put up a disappointing .189/.277/.269 batting line over his first 257 plate appearances in the majors prior to being demoted to Triple-A Las Vegas on June 7. However, he has looked like a keeper since his return.

After hitting .436 six homers and eight doubles over 15 games in Triple-A, d’Arnaud has continued to produce against major league pitching. The 25-year-old backstop went 3-for-5 with two RBI last night against the Padres and delivered a go-ahead opposite field single in the top of the ninth inning. He’s now hitting .318 (21-for-66) with three home runs, five doubles, and 12 RBI in 17 games since returning from the minors. Just to put things in perspective, he had just six extra-base hits in 145 plate appearances this season prior to his demotion.

So, what changed? During his time in Triple-A, d’Arnaud moved closer to the plate, which has allowed him to reach outside pitches which were previously giving him trouble. However, as this excellent piece from Marc Carig of New York Newsday points out, a lot of his struggles were mental in nature as he focused too much on results rather than feel for the game. Either way, something has clicked for him and he’s suddenly looking like someone the Mets can count on for the next several years as they attempt to return to prominence.

  1. garybrian - Jul 19, 2014 at 12:06 PM

    Nice trade Alex A. Got a couple of over-the-hill players for a couple of future stars!

    • bigmeechy74 - Jul 19, 2014 at 12:51 PM

      why is that nice? I’d much rather have the young players than the old ones.

      • jackrabbit56 - Jul 19, 2014 at 4:58 PM

        Methinks your sarcasm detector needs a little fine tuning…

  2. Francisco (FC) - Jul 19, 2014 at 12:28 PM

    He was part of the Phillies once upon a time. But they did send him to Toronto for Roy Halladay so I can’t complain (there are other things I can complain about).

    • dondada10 - Jul 19, 2014 at 1:40 PM

      TDA was traded for two different Cy Young Award Winners: Halladay and Dickey.

  3. dondada10 - Jul 19, 2014 at 1:42 PM

    There are a lot of Mets fans who wanted Wally Backman to manage the team. The fact that TDA went to Vegas and Backman sent him back with a new mentality (and stance) has only added to the call for Backman, IMO.

    It also doesn’t hurt that Dave Hudgens, long time hitting coach, was fired recently. Hudgens was a Moneyball/Oakland transport who preached patience and working the count. That approach certainly works for some guys, but it was hurting d’Arnaud (and killing Lucas Duda).

    • Reflex - Jul 19, 2014 at 5:26 PM

      The people who are calling for Backman need to look at the fact that just as many guys have been demoted and come back and still not hit a lick as those who were demoted and came back hitting. Ike Davis anyone? Backman isn’t any better than what they have, and may be worse. And what they have isn’t any great shakes either.

  4. mungman69 - Jul 19, 2014 at 1:50 PM

    The Mets look like they are heading in the right direction. It’s just gonna take time and I dunno if New Yorkers can wait.
    I like their future more than I like the Yankees future though.

  5. mungman69 - Jul 19, 2014 at 1:51 PM

    The mets are already better than Miami and Philadelphia but will they have enough next year to catch Atlanta and Washington ?

  6. kappy32 - Jul 20, 2014 at 4:49 AM

    I have high hopes for this guy, even before his struggles. He was pressing, his issues were mental, but he’s okay now. I expect him to have a solid end to 2014 & starting in 2015, this guy will be a mainstay in the All-Star Game for many years to come. The sky is the limit for this kid & I am so damn happy my Mets got him.

    • neoshweaty - Jul 20, 2014 at 3:07 PM

      I still need to see more than this to proclaim him a future allstar. If he can be anywhere near this for 500 at bats, the Dickey trade would have been worth it. However, the potential is there. That’s even before you get into Noah Syndergaard. Murphy, Duda, Wright, d’Arnaud, Granderson and Lagares don’t look too bad right about now. Hopefully they can pick up a few more bats in the future to fill out the lineup. The pitching should be rock solid though.

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