Hudgens said d'Arnaud was probably trying too hard last season. "It looked like he was trying to hit every ball out of the ballpark and overswinging a little bit and probably just trying to do too much," Hudgens said. He added that d'Arnaud has been much more relaxed in camp this year.
While Hudgens wouldn't discuss what he expects from the young catcher, he does seem encouraged by d'Arnaud's skills. Hudgens said he believes more reps is all d'Arnaud needs to turn into a strong player.
Last season, d'Arnaud hit .202/.286/.263 in 99 at-bats.
I like what I'm hearing from
Look, d'Arnaud isn't the first and won't be the last highly touted catching prospect to struggle offensively after his promotion to the majors. Most rookie catchers are burdened with defensive responsibilities upon their promotion and don't have the time to dedicate the attention needed to offense. But it sounds like d'Arnaud took care of that in the offseason, so maybe we will see a different hitter in 2014.
As far as his Draft Day value, catcher is a deeper position than you think. You could end up with players like Matt Wieters, Salvador Perez, Evan Gattis and Wilson Ramos in the middle rounds and be happy.
I'm not sure you want to go into your draft with the strategy d'Arnaud is going to be your starter. He definitely has upside, but d'Arnaud is more of a late-round Fantasy sleeper and you are probably better off bringing him off your bench in standard Head-to-Head leagues.
"I worked on just shortening my swing," he said, per the New York Post. "Last year, I feel like every pitch, I was thinking something about my swing compared to focusing on the ball and focusing on seeing the ball and hitting the ball. I just have to slow the game down, and toward the end I started feeling a little more comfortable and a lot of weight came off my shoulders."
"Anxious would probably be the right word for it," he said. "I was just trying to impress everyone. Every time I went up there, I was trying to hit a home run. I was trying to throw my hardest and hit my hardest to prove myself every time I got a chance. I was trying to prove myself and I just wasn’t myself."
The offseason has been beneficial for d'Arnaud, who spent time in the offseason going back to the basics. The top prospect hit .286 with a .476 slugging percentage and .823 OPS in 515 minor-league games.
"I simplified things, my swing, my approach," d’Arnaud said. "That’s my game, keeping things simple and easy. And I know I’ve got to keep things simple this season. I am feeling really good coming into camp and I am really excited for this season. I am ready to make that next step."
"I want to improve obviously offensively," d'Arnaud told the New York Post. "Last year I didn’t do so well in the beginning of my debut, and I just want to go out there and take my singles and just try to make good contact, not do anything crazy."
d'Arnaud posted a .476 slugging percentage and had one 20-homer season in the minors. Though, being a power hitter is not the first thing on his mind.
"I mean, I’m not thinking homers, I’m just thinking get on base, drive in runs, and do whatever I can to help the team win," he said.
As for his personal goals for '14, d'Arnaud just wants to stay on the diamond after two straight injury-plagued seasons.
"My personal goal is to stay healthy all year, that’s my first one," he said. "My second one is to make the playoffs, and my third one is to become a better teammate and a better friend to all my teammates on my team."
|CBSSports.com Player Ranking|
|9/29/2013 vs Milwaukee|
|vs Hellweg (Career)||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Last 7 Games|
|Complete Game Log|
| 30 || 31 |
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|More Batting Stats|
|Minor League Batting Stats|
|2010||AFA-Dunedin Blue Jays||71||263||36||68||20||1||6||38||20||63||3||1||.315||.411||.259|
|2011||AA-New Hampshire Fisher||114||424||72||132||33||1||21||78||33||100||4||2||.371||.542||.311|
|2012||AAA-Las Vegas 51s||67||279||45||93||21||2||16||52||19||59||1||1||.380||.595||.333|