The Braves should thank the Mets for Travis d’Arnaud.
While the Atlanta Braves moving to the NLCS with a victory against the Miami Marlins was by no means an unexpected win, most thought that the likes of Ronald Acuna or Freddie Freeman would be the catalyst that sparked a series sweep. Instead, catcher Travis d’Arnaud, who is continuing his emergence as one of the league’s best offensive catchers, pushed the Braves into the championship series.
d’Arnaud, who hit .321 with nine home runs in the regular season and supplied Atlanta with several key hits against the Marlins, was a one-time Braves nemesis by virtue of playing on the hated New York Mets.
Travis d’Arnaud is a big reason why the Braves are in the ALCS
d’Arnaud, who came over to the Mets in the RA Dickey trade, was a below-average offensive catcher as a Met, posting a 94 OPS+ in seven seasons in New York. After Mickey Callaway gave up on him last year, he latched on in Tampa Bay, where he tied a career-best mark with 16 home runs during 92 games with the Rays. After making the switch to Atlanta, d’Arnaud is starting to show of fall of his offensive star power.
Seeing d’Arnaud prosper is not an unfamiliar spot for the Mets, as average players like Daniel Murphy and Justin Turner have emerged as legitimate starts as soon as they left the Mets in favor of Washington and Los Angeles.
Not only do Mets fans have to watch the hated Braves streak towards the World Series, but they’re doing so while a former Met in d’Arnaud is powering their high-octane offense. If we’re being honest, however, d’Arnaud would probably be another average catcher as long as the permanent power-killing funk of the Mets was hovering around him.