Travis Emmanuel d'Arnaud
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 2", Weight 195 lb.
- High School Lakewood (CA) High School
- Debut August 17, 2013
Catcher Travis d'Arnaud is the brother of Chase d'Arnaud. He was one of the players obtained by the Toronto Blue Jays, along with Kyle Drabek and Michael Taylor, in the trade of Roy Halladay to the Philadelphia Phillies before the 2010 season. He had been a supplemental first round pick by the Phillies in the 2007 amateur draft (37th overall) out of Lakewood (CA) High School in Lakewood, CA.
D'Arnaud was signed by scout Tim Kissner and made his professional debut with the GCL Phillies in 2007, hitting. 241 in 41 games. In 2008, he hit .309 in 48 games for the Williamsport Crosscutters of the New York-Penn League, earning a promotion to the Lakewood Blue Claws of the South Atlantic League, where he hit .297 in 16 games. He showed good power, with 18 doubles and 6 homers between the two stops. He was back at Lakewood in 2009, playing 126 games during which he hit .255/.319/.419 with 38 doubles and 13 homers. He made his first appearance on Baseball America's top 100 prospect list after that season, at #81. That's when the Blue Jays made his acquisition and sent him to the Dunedin Blue Jays of the Florida State League in 2010. His season was cut short by an injury, and he managed only 7 games, hitting .259, but with 20 doubles. In spite of the shortened season, he climbed significantly up the prospect list, ending at #36.
Travis d'Arnaud, playing for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, was honored with the Eastern League's Most Valuable Player Award in 2011. He had a breakout year at the plate that season, hitting .313 in 109 games with 32 doubles and 19 homers, scoring 70 runs and driving in 71. In 2012, he hit .333 in 67 games for the AAA Las Vegas 51s, with 21 doubles, 16 homers and 52 RBI when his season ended prematurely because of an injury which prevented him from making his major league debut that year. On December 17th, he was the key player acquired by the New York Mets when they dealt Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey and their two main catchers, Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas, to the Blue Jays. D'Arnaud was seen as the Mets' catcher of the future, with veteran John Buck also headed to New York in the deal, along with two pitching prospects, Wuilmer Becerra and Noah Syndergaard. D'Arnaud began the 2013 season at Triple-A Las Vegas, which was by now the Mets' top minor league affiliate, but with the understanding that the Mets intend to call him up around mid-season, or sooner, to take over for Buck who was the starting catcher in New York when the season opened. However, he suffered a setback in mid-April when he fractured a bone in his left foot, the result of a foul ball. He did return to make his big league debut before the end of the season, on August 17th and hit .202 in 31 games that first season.
D'Arnaud moved into the job of starting catcher for the Mets in 2014 and had a very solid rookie season, being named to the 2014 Topps All-Star Rookie Team. In 108 games, he hit .242 with 22 double, 13 homers, 48 runs scored and 41 RBIs. While his production with the bat was impressive, his play behind the dish was even better, as the Mets put together an excellent season on the mound and finished in a surprising tie for second place in the NL East. Travis and the Mets were off to a great start in 2015, as he was hitting .317 after 11 games when he suffered a fractured hand on April 19th after being hit by a pitch thrown by the Miami Marlins' A.J. Ramos. he came back in June, but played only 8 games before heading back to the DL, and finally returned to stay on July 31st. In his absence, his replacement, rookie Kevin Plawecki, had played well, and the Mets were in first place, which meant he was no longer the undisputed starter. However,he quickly outplayed the rookie and was again the main man behind the plate by the end of the season. In 67 games, he hit .268 with 12 homers and 41 RBIs. He was also praised for his excellent handling of the team's young pitchers as New York ran away with a division title. He went 3 for 19 (.158) but with a homer and 4 RBIs as the Mets defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Division Series, then 4 for 15 with a pair of homers in a sweep of the Chicago Cubs in the NLCS. He then struggled in the World Series, like most of his teammates, being limited to 3 hits in 21 at-bats (.143) by the Kansas City Royals.
After a slow start in 2016, he was placed on the disabled list on April 26th because of a strain in his throwing shoulder. The injury kept him out of action for almost two months, until June 21st and limited him to 75 games for the season. He never found his hitting stroke, being limited to a .247 average with 4 homers and 15 RBIs, equivalent to an OPS+ of only 70. As a result, he did not play in the Wild Card Game as Rene Rivera was behind the plate for the Mets' loss to the San Francisco Giants. He was back as the starting catcher in 2017, however, and on April 13th was the hero of the longest game yet played at Marlins Park, when the Mets defeated the Miami Marlins, 9-8 in 16 innings. In getting a career-high four hits, he tripled with the bases loaded in the 2nd, then homered off Adam Conley's first pitch in the 16th to give his team its winning margin.
D'Arnaud's brother Chase was caught stealing just three times while in the South Atlantic League in 2009, but two of these were by Travis in May.