According to MLB.com's StatCast expert Mike Petriello, Travis d'Arnaud projects to be as good or better than free-agent C Matt Wieters in 2017.
"Ultimately, it's going to come down to health for d'Arnaud, as it always does, because the Mets are betting on upside," he explains. "With Wieters, you could spend millions and be reasonably sure you'd have a competent veteran catcher, but with little chance of a breakout, as his performance has not kept up with his name value or his salary demands."
"With d'Arnaud," he continues, "there's still the chance he'll have that big season we've seen flashes of. It might not be the popular choice, but it's an easily defensible one."
Mets GM Sandy Alderson has repeatedly said this winter that d'Arnaud, Rene Rivera, and Kevin Plawecki will be his catchers in 2017. As a result, according to the NY Post and Newsday, d'Arnaud has already put in work this winter with the team's new catching instructor, Glenn Sherlock, who was hired by the organization in December.
In addition to analyzing video, Sherlock and d'Arnaud specifically worked on catching mechanics and throwing, as well as the psychology of catching >> Read more.
Personally, I prefer d'Arnaud. I believe he can realize his potential, which he showed in 60 or so games during 2015. It's still possible -- catchers are notorious for developing late and he's still only 28 years old. That said, I understand why people will be attracted to Wieters, who is just two years older than d'Arnaud. Wieters is a four-time All-Star, he's won multiple Silver Slugger and Gold Glove awards and -- more important -- he's looking for a job and flirting with the Nationals >> Read more from Jan. 25.