The Keepers – 1B/OF – Lucas Duda

 

photo by Michael G. Baron

23. Lucas Duda – OF – AAA –

Duda had a career .275 batting average at USC and hit .278 in 2007, with a team-high 6 home runs. He also performed very well last year with a wood bat in the Northwoods League.
 

Duda was drafted in the 7th round of the 2007 draft by the Mets. He was signed and assigned to the 2007 Brooklyn Cyclones roster, where he batted .299/.398/.462 in 234 at bats, 4 HRs, 32 RBIs, 20 doubles, only 6 errors.
 

Duda played the entire 2008 season for St. Lucie, hitting .263/.358/.398 in 483 at bats, 11 HRs, 66 RBIs.
 

In 2009, Duda made a great career move, giving up his first baseman’s glove and moving into the outfield. He finished the season on the disabled list, but produced stats of .281/.380/.428/.808, with 9-HR, 53-RBI in 395-AB.
 

1-1-10 Forecast: Things are actually starting to heat up a little when it comes to Mets minor league outfielders. The trio from St. Lucie, Brahiam Maldonado, Kurt Nieuwenhuis, and Carlos Guzman, were all ranked in the league’s top 6 home run hitters in 2009. Duda was dead in the water as the furutre Mets first baseman, and by switching to the outfield in 2009, he gets a one year jump of the Three Amigos. The only outfield prospect ahead of him is Fernando Martinez.
 

4-17-10: – Lucas Duda – OF/1B – AA-Binghamton – I remember some of the Sand Gnats reporting a couple of years ago that the sweetest bat on the cyclones roster was Duda’s… Lucas was a 7th round pick in the 2007 draft, out of USC. Three year totals to date: .277/.374/.422/.796, with only 24 homeruns in 1,112 at bats. Duda was moved from first to the outfield and had a decent AA season last year, going .281/.380/.428/.808, with 53-RBIs in 395 ABs. So far this season, he leads all Mets organizational players with 14 ribbys in only 34 at bats.

7-4-10: – As I have already posted, Duda is a home run machine this week and everyone is pulling out their computer, trying to find out some more info on this guy. I remember being in the Savannah lockerroomtwo seasons ago and a couple of pitchers just arrived from Brooklyn. I was yacking with them when one told me about what, in his opinion, was the best swing he had ever seen. It was Duda’s, playing for the Cyclones.

7-28-10: – Duda not only continues to hit at the AAA level, but his hitting is timely as well. Last night, he knocked in three runs to seal the victory against Columbus, which included his 12th home run of the season. Seasonal stats: .313/.376/a whopping .679/1.055. You can’t do much better than this and it will be interesting to see what the Mets do with this 24-year old one- dimensional player.

8-11-10: – Another possible addition to the Queens roster come September may be OF/1B Lucas Duda. He hit another home run yesterday for Buffalo, which made him tied for the AAA_International league lead in extra base hits (31) and slugging percentage (.663).Duda has also scored a run in 13 of his last 14 games and is hitting .414 (12-29) in the past week. His combined B-Met/Bison 2010 stats are: 345-AB, .304/.401/.588/.989, 21-HR, 78-RBI. Remember now, the Mets define a “utility player” as someone that can play both in the infield and the outfield (my theory on that is simply because they carry an extra relief pitcher due to the lack of innings eaters in the rotation). Because of this, Duda joins a list that included Mike Hessman and Daniel Murphy as possible 2011 25-man men (say that three times fast). The knock on Duda has always been that he can’t hit lefties (66-AB, .242), but that isn’t as critical in a utility role. What is important is his .354 batting average with runners on base. I’ve told this story a few times before, so skip to the next paragraph if you heard it before. I remember talking in 2007 to some of the guys that came out of Brooklyn and to a man they all said that Duda had the bext swing they had ever seen in organized baseball. Keep an eye on him.

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