See Jesus Montero, see Mike Zunino…Shoot, see any young catchers. Don’t care if it’s Chinatown or on Riverside, catchers aren’t great guys to look at when they’re young. Defense is demanding for them. Have to handle the pitching staff. Have to bend down and shizz. It doesn’t seem like much fun. I don’t like bending down to look for a lost dog toy under the couch, imagine doing that for three hours a night. Blech. Get me a Barcalounger and put it behind home plate. Actually, I don’t want people to steal this invention that I’m going on Shark Tank with, but if you put a motor on a Barcalounger, you really never have to stand up again. A great year from a young catcher is handling the pitching staff and chipping in a homer here and there and a .240 average. I still don’t fully buy Yadier Molina’s stats the last few years, but let’s assume he is this good. For his first seven years, he never topped 8 homers or a .304 batting average. In his last three years, he hasn’t had a mark under either of those. If the pitchers are doing well and/or liking how the catcher is calling the game, catchers don’t have to hit, especially not when they’re first called up. This seems to go doubly for NL teams. BTW, try to say ‘doubly’ without sounding drunk. You can’t do it. So, expect nothing from Travis d’Arnaud. But if he backs into some stats (say, while sitting in a motorized Barcalounger), what can we expect of Travis d’Arnaud for 2014 fantasy baseball?
When he was called up, I said d’Arnaud could be Carlos Santana as early as Fourteen-After-Twenty (or FAT). He can’t not hit, which either means he can or can’t depending on how we’re counting negatives, and in turn double negatives. He hit 21 homers in Double-A with a .311 average. In Triple-A, more of the same — 16 homers, .333 average — in only 67 games. There was a reason why the Mets sent their Cy Young winner, The Dickster, to Toronto for d’Arnaud. At some point, d’Arnaud will be a top five catcher for all of fantasy. I’m gonna be totally honest with you for a change, I have no idea when d’Arnaud will be a top five catcher. Could be this year, could be in 2017 when you will be taking flying cars to your draft and you will be able to marry your robot maid (in Vermont) while going down the aisle in a motorized Barcalounger. Catchers’ growth charts are hard to predict. Carlos Santana should be better than he’s been, Matt Wieters should be better, the list goes on. Those guys haven’t even reached their potential yet. Will d’Arnaud be worth a flyer at the end of your draft? Yes, definitely. Will you want to drop him by April 7th? Maybe. For 2014, I’ll give him the line of 52/16/67/.260/2 with a chance for much more upside or downside. Now which one of you knows how to put a motor on a Barcalounger; I’m taking bids for engineers.