Two years ago, Travis d'Arnaud was leading the Phillies' Class A affiliate, the Lakewood BlueClaws, to their second ever South Atlantic League championship. This year, d'Arnaud was named as the Double A Eastern League's Most Valuable Player and is back in the post-season with New Hampshire.
Originally selected in the supplemental round of the 2007 draft, d'Arnaud became a well regarded prospect with his strong bat and tremendous skills behind the plate. In 2008, in his first full season as a professional, the California native posted a .305 average with 6 HR and 30 RBI in 64 combined games at two levels with short-season Williamsport and Lakewood.
The following season, d'Arnaud led a prospect laden BlueClaws club in RBI, with 71. His strides on the field caused folks all around baseball to take notice, and d'Arnaud was included in the December, 2009 trade that sent Cy Young Award winning hurler Roy Halladay to Philadelphia from Toronto.
In the Blue Jays system, d'Arnaud, has focused on staying healthy, following a 2010 filled with time on the disabled list and a concussion early this year. After finishing among the 2011 EL leaders in HR (21- tied for 4th in EL), RBI (78- 6th), OPS (.914- 2nd) and batting average (.311- 5th), d'Arnaud won the biggest individual honor at the Double A level. However, the MVP Award is not the hardware the 22-year-old is most concerned with. d'Arnaud hopes to lock down a team achievement and win the Eastern League championship, along with his Fisher Cats teammates.
"We're all really excited for the playoffs," d'Arnaud stated. "We want to go out there and win and bring the championship to the city (of Manchester) and to the Jays organization."
To read the rest of this post, click here.