To get a better understanding of Travis d’Arnaud’s future with the Mets, you must travel back to his past with the Phillies.
Roly de Armas was his first manager. Mike Compton was the Phillies’ minor league catching coordinator. D’Arnaud has earned a special place in both men’s baseball hearts.
“I’ve started professionally in 1965 and I worked with and seen a lot of great catchers, and the great ones just have a different gear. Travis is one of those guys,’’ Compton told The Post yesterday at the Carpenter Complex, where Phillies’ minor league players train. “It’s like Usain Bolt; he can just run faster than other people. It’s just there.
“I was with Johnny Bench when he was a young fella,’’ said Compton, the Phillies field coordinator, “and Travis, when he’s off on another field and you look over; physically, he walks and looks a lot like Johnny. His shoulders hang like John’s; he’s got big hands like John, and the mannerisms. He’s got a lot of tools and he is such a gifted hitter.’’
If d’Arnaud, 24, can play and lead anything like Bench, the Big Red Machine Hall of Fame catcher, the Mets have themselves an Amazin’ steal.
“Travis is one of my tops of all time,’’ said de Armas, who will manage the Gulf Coast Phillies again this season, his 28th year as a minor league manager. “I’ve been in the game for 40 years. It was a blessing to coach Travis. He is the same kid now as when he walked into here as a 17-year old. Of course, he’s grown up, but he has the same personality, the same love for the game. That doesn’t always happen, sometimes they change. Travis always came to the ballpark ready to work. The Mets got themselves a good one.’’
Old coaches: Mets got a big-time catcher
New York Post | Feb 15