When Alderson did his string of interviews on Friday, he mentioned the idea that he didn’t have any impact position players close to the MLB level. This included guys like Travis d’Arnaud and Wilmer Flores — and he went on to speak about d’Arnaud specifically as well:
“A little bit, we saw flashes. I thought the approach was inconsistent, Alderson said. “I think anytime you get below the Mendoza Line, especially in a young guy, you panic a little bit. But, I think given what we saw in spring training, what we saw in Vegas, and what we saw in his minor league career, we have to assume that’s going to improve.”
I disagree with Alderson’s little note about “…especially in a young guy,” considering that it was d’Arnaud’s rookie season. It was weird, because I want to say he was over-matched at times, but he was also patient to a fault. So yeah, in a way, the approach was inconsistent, but I would be incorrect if I didn’t praise his overall commitment to patience. It might have done more harm than good, however. Alderson also felt comfortable with our young backstop’s showing on defense, but I do not know if I feel the same.
Regardless, the topic at hand seems to be how long it will take to determine what kind of player d’Arnaud will be in the majors. It should be obvious, however, that we haven’t seen nearly enough of this young man at the MLB level to make a clear judgment on his future. He did not blow me away during his first 100 at-bats or so with the Mets, but I have to give a prospect of his caliber at least until the end of next year to start making major judgments on him. I’m hoping that he hits the ground running in 2014 to get the monkey off his back and maybe lessen the media pressure — but we’ll see what happens.
He also has to make sure he stays healthy this year, which just might be the most important thing.