"When he came up [last season], he worked so hard each and every game to make sure that he and the pitchers could work together and have confidence in him," Collins said (TC Palm, Feb. 4). "It happens a lot in the major leagues where (pitchers) come in and say, ‘Hey, I want this guy catching me.’ That was his main focus."
MLB.com recently named d’Arnaud as the top catching prospect in baseball, saying:
"Everybody told me he was going to hit," Collins said. "The fact that he’s in this camp as the No. 1 guy, the pitchers know him and know what to expect, he knows them and what to expect, he can be himself and we’ll see the offense we expect to see."
D’Arnaud is looking like an early difference-maker to me. He did very little at the plate in 2013, yet scouts and MLB executives have been praising his offensive potential for years. I get the impression people see him eventually hitting around .280 with 15 home runs, maybe 70 RBI and putting up 3.0 WAR, while continuing to do a terrific job handling the pitching staff and being a leader on the infield. This obviously didn’t happen last year, and I highly doubt he’ll make that large of a jump in 2014. However, he’s an important part of this team, he has the potential to change the dynamic of their lineup and the sooner that happens, the better.