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July 14, 2014

Notes About Baseball, 7/14

The Big-Market d'Arnaud

by Rocco DeMaro


In The Room

The quality of catching in the National League is kind of nuts right now.

Of the top 10 catchers in MLB by BWARP, seven call the senior circuit home. And that 70 percent is awfully top-heavy, with National Leaguers occupying spots 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 and 8.

I point this out because you'd be forgiven if, in the face of all this catching excellence, you'd overlooked the performance of one Travis d'Arnaud since his recall on June 24th. Since then, Travis has raked, hitting .295/.338/.525 across 65 plate appearances (MLB average at catcher: .249/.316/.385).

It's obviously a small sample, but were he to maintain that pace his .863 OPS would land him fifth among all catchers in baseball. And it's not a reach putting those kinds of expectations on the guy.

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8 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

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jdeich

I've been pleasantly surprised that Billy Hamilton has become a player who is very valuable even if he remains at the break-even point on steals. His OPS is above the NL average for CFs (.743 to .727), and the defensive systems agree that he's (at least) a better-than-average defensive CF. Overall, he's been a ~+3 WAR player, and we're only 60% of the way through the season.

He'd be worthy of All-Star consideration even if he wasn't the active player most likely to produce a "Wow! I've never seen that!" moment on any given night.

Jul 14, 2014 14:08 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member rdemaro
BP staff

Agreed, jdeich. He's improved a lot as the season's gone on, and, as you say, we're only 90-or-so games in.

Bright future on that young man... and man is he fun to watch.

Jul 14, 2014 15:22 PM
 
lopkhan00

If only Eric Davis had had the health tool. He would have smashed ARod's power/speed numbers in both 1986 and 1987, if he'd had the same amount of plate appearances that ARod had (748 for ARod compared to 487 and 562 for Davis). Davis was at 27HR/80SB in 1986 and 37HR/50 SB in his abbreviated seasons.

Jul 14, 2014 15:32 PM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member rdemaro
BP staff

He was also a monster in RBI Baseball, as I remember it, which is very important. I also seem to recall him leading the league in the amount of chew he could jam into his cheek. It was like he was chewing on a tennis ball.

Good call, lopkhan. Ephemera aside, Davis was, in fact, a monster when healthy.

Jul 14, 2014 16:17 PM
 
davinhbrown

Chuck in Uniontown sends his regards Rocco.

Good stuff man.

Jul 14, 2014 18:37 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member rdemaro
BP staff

Chuck!

I actually spoke with him not long ago. He was celebrating a birthday and generally doing Chuck things. I miss our nightly chats.

Thanks for the kindness, Dav.

Jul 15, 2014 06:51 AM
 
Tombote123

The Outlier segment for billy Hamilton on speed improves his defense and base running. How about a power and arm combo?
ex:cepedes or pedro alvarez?

Jul 15, 2014 11:26 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member rdemaro
BP staff

Been meaning to write a thing on Cespedes, Tombote... and Pedro has had some uniquely mental issues re: that arm. Good thought.

Jul 15, 2014 12:47 PM
 
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