Phillies Prospect #22: Travis D'Arnaud

For the Phillies, offense is somewhat of an after thought when they draft catchers. Such is the case with Travis D'Arnaud, but the good news is that the offense may develop as part of the package.

Acquired: Drafted by the Phillies as a sandwich pick (37th overall) in the 2007 Draft.

B:T: R  / Height:  6' 2" / Weight: 195 lbs.

Birth Date: February 10, 1989

2007 Team: GCL Phillies

Positions Played in 2007: Catcher (23 g)

School: Lakewood High School (Lakewood, CA)

Batting and Power: Travis D'Arnaud has a legitimate shot at developing into an above average offensive player. He showed good plate discipline during his high school career and already knows how to hit to the opposite field, and is comfortable with that approach at the plate. The wrap on D'Arnaud is that he's inconsistent at the plate and needs to take a consistent approach to hitting and be consistent in his stance and offensive mechanics. Like a lot of young players, D'Arnaud sometimes takes the "swing hard in case you hit it" approach and needs to develop better mechanics. The good news is that once he gets that down, he should be able to not only become a better hitter, but should be able to keep his strikeout numbers low.

Baserunning and Speed: He has below average speed - like we say, "he's a catcher" - but knows how to run the bases well. He's an all around smart player and uses those brains especially on the basepaths. It was his smart approach on the bases that led to his four stolen bases in the Gulf Coast League.

Defense: The Phillies never get too wrapped up drafting catchers based on their offensive skills. They take the approach that catches need to first be players able to handle the defensive part of the game and anything else that develops is just gravy. D'Arnaud has defensive skills and instincts that are well above average. He's got good hands, and as inconsistent as his mechanics are offensively, he's near flawless defensively. The best part of his defense is his arm. He picked off a number of runners on both first and second base in his high school days and his arm is not just strong, but accurate as well. He works well with pitchers and they value having him behind the plate because of his ability to block pitches in the dirt and save them when needed.

Projection: The instincts are all there, so it's just a matter of how much offensive ability D'Arnaud will develop. That truly is the gravy though, because he's got the defensive skills that the Phillies look for in a catcher and will certainly have enough offense to make him a viable major league catcher when the time comes. The best part is that he just turned 19 a month ago, so there is time to work him through the system. It's very likely that the Phillies will keep D'Arnaud in a short-season league in 2008 and possibly even back in the Gulf Coast League, depending on what the catching crop looks like from their 2008 draft. It's likely that they won't invest too heavily in catchers since they have a good group already coming through the system, so D'Arnaud could wind up playing in Williamsport next summer.

What else you should know about Travis D'Arnaud: 

  • He had a scholarship offer to Pepperdine University, where his brother Chase is the team's third baseman. Chase D'Arnaud could be a pretty high pick in the 2008 Draft.
  • D'Arnaud shares an agent with Phillies second baseman Chase Utley.

Travis D'Arnaud's career stats

2007 GCL 4 20 .241 41 141 18 34 3 0 4 4 23 .278 .348

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