Kevin Jeffrey Plawecki
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 2", Weight 215 lb.
- School Purdue University
- High School Westfield (IN) High School
- Debut April 21, 2015
He attended Purdue University. As a freshman in 2010, he hit .343/.384/.529 with 53 RBI in 54 games and was named a Freshman All-American by Collegiate Baseball. He set a Purdue freshman RBI record. His sophomore year, he batted .341/.429/.436 with 46 runs in 55 contests and fielded .990. He was named All-Big Ten Conference at catcher, something no Purdue player had done in 52 years. He only fanned in 10 of 211 at-bats, the lowest rate in the Big Ten and 13th-lowest in NCAA Division I. His junior year, he was even better, at .359/.445/.578 with 54 runs and 20 doubles in 59 games, fielding .994. He was named the Big Ten Player of the Year and was named a second-team All-American by both Collegiate Baseball and Baseball America.
He was selected by the New York Mets in the supplemental first round of the 2012 amateur draft, with the 35th overall pick. He was the second of two Mets first-rounders, following Gavin Cecchini. The pick was compensation for the loss of Jose Reyes to free agency. He soon signed for a reported $1.4 million bonus and made his pro debut for the Brooklyn Cyclones on June 19th. He batted .250 with 7 home runs and 27 RBI over the course of 61 games in his first professional season. In 2013, he started the season with the Savannah Sand Gnats of the South Atlantic League, then was promoted to the St. Lucie Mets of the Florida State League at the end of June. He played 125 games between the two teams, hitting .305/.390/.448 with 38 doubles and 80 RBIs to confirm his place as one of the organization's top prospects.
He was the starting catcher for the United States team in the 2014 Futures Game. He split that season between the Binghamton Mets of the AA Eastern League and the Las Vegas 51s of the Pacific Coast League, hitting a combined ..309/.365/.460 in 101 games, with 24 doubles, 11 homers and 64 RBIs.
In spite of his solid season in 2014, the Mets were in no hurry to bring him up to the majors in 2015, as Travis d'Arnaud had just completed a solid rookie season as the Mets' starting catcher. Kevin thus started the year back with Las Vegas. He was hitting .216 after 9 games when the Mets' plans changed after d'Arnaud suffered a broken bone when hit by a pitch on April 19th. Plawecki was called up to the Big Apple and immediately inserted into the starting line-up against the Atlanta Braves on April 21st. He got two hits, scored twice and threw out a runner at second base as the red-hot Mets won their 9th straight game, 7-1. He hit his first career homer on April 25th, a two-run shot off CC Sabathia of the New York Yankees in the 4th inning of an 8-2 win. He hit .219 in 73 games with 3 homers and 21 RBIs. In 2016, he played 28 games, hitting .197 with 1 homer and 11 RBIs. He was not used in the postseason in either year, as d'Arnaud was back healthy and played throughout the postseason as the Mets made it to the 2015 World Series, then veteran back-up Rene Rivera go the start as the Mets lost the Wild Card Game the following year.
On April 30, 2017, he was asked to pitch in mop-up duty with the Mets trailing the Washington Nationals, 19-5, in the 7th inning. In two innings of work, he gave up four more runs as the Nats set a franchise record with 23 runs. Bryce Harper, Adam Lind and Anthony Rendon all took him deep. He played 37 games as d'Arnaud was healthier than in previous seasons, and hit .260 with 3 homers and 13 RBIs. In early 2018, it appeared like he would get extended playing time when on April 11th, the Mets announced that d'Arnaud had a UCL tear in his elbow and was likely lost for the season. However, that very day, he was hit by a pitch in the 8th inning of a game against the Miami Marlins and while initial x-rays were negative, reports soon emerged that he had suffered a broken bone. That left the team precariously short of catching, with Jose Lobaton and Tomas Nido having to be hastily brought up from AAA to hold the fort. the Mets then acquired Devin Mesoraco via trade and the two ended up splitting catching duties after Plawecki returned from his injury after missing six weeks. Kevin played 79 games and had 238 at-bats that season, hitting .201 with 7 homers and 30 RBIs.
The Mets signed free agent Wilson Ramos after the 2018 season, making Plawecki superfluous. On January 6, 2019, he was traded to the Cleveland Indians in return for minor leaguers Walker Lockett and Sam Haggerty. The Indians had recently traded Yan Gomes, leaving them in need of a second catcher to back up Roberto Perez. He played 59 games and hit .222 with 3 homers and 17 RBIs. He became a free agent after the season and signed a one-year contract with the Boston Red Sox on January 2, 2020.
Overall with the Red Sox during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, Plawecki batted .342 with 1 home run and 17 RBIs in 23 games. In early December 2020, Plawecki and the Red Sox reached a one-year deal for the 2021 season. On February 17th, he was placed on the COVID-19 injured list. He still made the team's Opening Day roster to back up Christian Vázquez. He was placed on the injured list with a left hamstring strain on June 22nd, and returned to the team on July 9th.