Travis d’Arnaud was at it again last night for the Las Vegas 51s. The 25 year-old catcher went 3-for-5 with two doubles, a home run, and three runs scored to lead Las Vegas to a 6-2 victory. The home run was d’Arnaud’s sixth since being demoted earlier this month.
D’Arnaud has torn the cover off the ball since being sent down, already making a strong case for him to be recalled after less than two weeks in Triple-A. In 48 trips to the plate, d’Arnaud has an austounding batting line of .432/.479/.977. Yes, that’s right: a .977 slugging percentage. During that span, TDA has six doubles, six home runs, and 12 runs scored.
“It was all mental,” d’Arnaud told the Las Vegas Review-Journal, “Just focusing in on every at-bat like it’s my last at-bat. Not thinking about a hundred different things. Just focusing on one thing and keeping a solid approach on each and every pitch. I kind of went away from that (in the majors).” It seems the pressure of being a top prospect debuting in New York was a bit too much for d’Arnaud to handle.
Las Vegas hitting coach George Greer has made a minor change to d’Arnaud’s stance since the demotion, moving his back foot a bit closer to the plate to help him get to outside pitches. d’Arnaud was hitting .096 on pitches in the outer half of the strike zone compared to .296 on pitches on the inner half in the majors.
Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reported earlier this week that d’Arnaud will likely be recalled next week when the Mets play the Oakland Athletics at Citi Field on June 24 and 25. That gives d’Arnaud another week to prepare himself for his second shot in the big leagues.