Chase d’Arnaud will be 26 when the new Pirates season starts. The gloss has worn off d’Arnaud a bit and he is currently in a logjam of backup middle infielders. d’Arnaud took a step backwards last year after being sent to AAA and missing a lot of time with a concussion. He scuffled the first half, but bounced back a bit in the second half. That bounce back carried him to slightly worse overall numbers than he usually posts, but not by too much.
|AAA (2 seasons)||AAA||172||106||172||36||10||10||75||54||9||60||146||.257||.327||.386||.712|
|A+ (2 seasons)||A+||58||48||66||20||4||5||29||16||5||31||41||.297||.402||.491||.893|
|A (1 season)||A||62||32||62||14||3||3||31||17||3||30||31||.291||.394||.427||.821|
|AA (1 season)||AA||132||91||131||33||9||6||48||33||7||56||102||.247||.331||.377||.708|
|A- (1 season)||A-||43||26||48||10||5||1||21||14||2||11||30||.286||.333||.423||.756|
d’Arnaud’s biggest asset is his speed and overall stealing ability. He is good on the basepaths, something the Pirates could actually use. Last year he stole 34 bases in AAA Indianapolis. The problem is that at the Major League level he hasn’t proven he can get on base at any consistent rate.
Obviously it’s a pretty small sample size, but he never really dominated with the stick in the minors despite being a college prospect.
Another problem for Chase is his defense, which is pretty clearly below average. The Pirates don’t have a ton of guys on the 40 man who can handle shortstop. Basically it’s Clint Barmes and Jordy Mercer. Brock Holt, Josh Harrison, and d’Arnaud are all guys that fake it at short.
This limited defensive upside will also limit his chances. Holt will almost surely get a spot over Chase because of his stick, Harrison seems to have Hurdle’s trust and will also get a spot. I think it’s pretty safe to say that Chase will have to figure the stick out in AAA this year before he earns a call up.
I wouldn’t write him off yet. There is real talent there, and no one knows what the concussion did to his season, but the clock is definitely ticking on Chase. He isn’t young for his level, he doesn’t have explosive upside with the bat, but his wheels are special and if he improves his approach to allow him more opportunities he could turn into a positive WAR player.
Roster Watch: Pedro Alvarez
Roster Watch: Rod Barajas
Roster Watch: Clint Barmes
Roster Watch: A.J. Burnett
Roster Watch: Jeff Clement
Roster Watch: Kevin Correia