Kevin Plawecki, who is all of 22 today, was the Mets’ No. 1 catching prospect until the trade for Travis d’Arnaud. He was the second of the Mets’ two first-round draft picks last June, a supplemental selection for losing Jose Reyes to free agency. (The Mets drafted shortstop Gavin Cecchini ahead of him.) In 61 games with the Brooklyn Cyclones last season, he posted a .345 on-base percentage and .384 slugging percentage, with seven home runs and 27 RBI. He also had more walks (25) than strikeouts (24), a rare feat among contemporary ballplayers, while his defense has garnered mixed reviews.

History is against Plawecki, however, at least as far as being a first-string catcher in the majors is concerned. Consider that four of the franchise’s five long-term impact backstops (Grote, Stearns, Carter and Piazza) were imported from other organizations, and the legacy of the fifth (Todd Hundley) is tainted. Ron Hodges and Duffy Dyer get points for longevity, but each played 12 years and only twice amassed more than 200 at-bats in a season.

Also, Plawecki played for (indeed, excelled with) Perdue University, which has hardly been a springboard to major league stardom. Of 19 Perdue Boilermakers who made it to The Show, only two stand out: Bernie Allen, a steady if unspectacular second baseman from 1962–1973, and Moose Skowron, who earned four World Series rings with the Yankees and a fifth with the L.A. Dodgers. More typical of Perdue baseball alumni is former Met Jermaine Allensworth.

Still, Plawecki has the potential to blossom and one day supplant d’Arnaud or push him to another position. On the other hand, he could end up following in the spike prints of Ed Hearn and Alex Trevino.