It was just three years ago when the Mets picked up a 34 year old Rod Barajas and he got off to a very good start. To put Buck's start in perspective, Barajas was hitting .244, 9, 17 by May 17th. I understand why the comparisons exist since neither has had a history of hitting for a high average. The biggest similarity is the fact they both benefited from the environment in Toronto, as they both had their best career seasons there. Buck hit .281, 20, 66 in 2010 for the Blue Jays and parlayed that into his 3 year, $18 million contract he signed with the Florida Marlins. Barajas' best season also was in Toronto, as he hit .226, 19, 71 in 2009.
Looking at the career stats to that point, Buck hit .235 (737-3131), 118, 423 prior to this season. Barajas, before he joined the Mets, hit .242 (611-2521), 92, 335. Barajas has declined since, seeing his career average drop to .235; exactly where Buck's career average was coming into this season. While both players started their careers at age 23, Barajas was not even a backup catcher until his 3rd and 4th seasons and failed to play in 100 MLB games in a season until his 6th. Buck was a starting catcher his 2nd season and has been a primary catcher for the majority of his career.
I know it is easy to jump on the bandwagon when a player is performing as well as Buck. Logic says he will not hit .335, 35, 120 like he could project to be assuming he has a slump or two this season. Otherwise, we are looking at 80 HR and 200 RBIs! Obviously not going to happen. I think, however, Buck can finish in the neighborhood of 20-25 HRs and about 80 RBI. That production will have a lot to do with when top catching prospect Travis d'Arnaud is called up as Buck will be regulated to the bench or possibly traded. As much as Buck's hot streak is great to watch, there is not a lot of confidence that it will continue much longer. Here is to hoping it continues.