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Scouting the New York Mets and Cleveland Indians trade

New York Mets

NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 07: Kevin Plawecki #26 of the New York Mets in action against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field on September 7, 2018 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Phillies defeated the Mets 4-3. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

The New York Mets traded away one of their backup catchers for two prospects on Sunday. Let’s look at the players involved.

To cap off a busy weekend of moves, the New York Mets traded away backup catcher Kevin Plawecki to the Cleveland Indians for pitching prospect Walker Lockett and infield prospect Sam Haggerty.

Plawecki has been a player of intrigue for a number of years to New York Mets fans. Originally drafted in the first round of the 2012 draft out of Purdue, Plawecki has at times been a top prospect (ranked as high as #63 in top 100 prospect lists) and worked up the minor leagues quickly.

Plawecki had a solid draft season, but in his first full year, he made a big impression, hitting .305/.390/.448 across both A-ball levels with 38 doubles and 8 home runs. The next year, he continued hitting well, earning his way onto top 100 lists as he played across AA and AAA, hitting .309/.365/.460 with 24 doubles and 11 home runs.

The 2015 season would see Plawecki spend 73 games at the major league level, and he has bounced back and forth between AAA and the New York Mets each season since. When he returns to the minors, he hits well (.299/.347/.475 over 587 PA with 19 HR). His major league hitting has not been as good, however, as he’s slashed .218/.308/.330 with 14 home runs over 804 plate appearances over that same time frame in the major leagues.

Plawecki’s defense has also been sporadic through multiple injuries over the last four seasons. He came out with an incredible 17 DRS in his rookie year in 2015. This past season was as close to that level of playing time he’s had since that year, and he was at 0. Baseball Prospectus’ framing rankings don’t like Plawecki much, either, ranking him 93rd out of 117 qualified catchers in the major leagues this past season.

He will pair with Roberto Perez, who is well-regarded in all defensive metrics (6th in framing, 4 DRS last season in ~100 less innings than Plawecki). It would appear that Plawecki will end up the hitting end of a catching duo, with the Indians hoping they can work with his defense to bring it back to pre-injury levels.

Let’s take a look at the return the New York Mets got for Plawecki…

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