Scouting Mets Prospect #19: Lucas Duda

The New York Mets selected first baseman Lucas Duda in the seventh round of the 2007 draft out of Southern California. The big first baseman took a big step in 2009 by putting together a very solid season in Double-A. There are still steps for Duda to take, but a strong final two months should set up him up for another promotion in 2010.

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Vital Statistics
Name: Lucas Duda
DOB: February 3, 1986
Height: 6'5"
Weight: 240
Bats: Left
Throws: Right
Status: 7th Round (2007) – Southern California

The future at first base for the New York Mets continues to be a point of significant discussion and emphasis. While Ike Davis has generated much of the attention for the position, Lucas Duda is still working to keep himself on the radar. Duda has yet to provide the big power numbers expected from a guy his size and at a premium position, but he has kept himself in competition due to consistent production.

Duda followed up on a solid season in High-A in 2008 with an equal performance, and at times superior, in Double-A. In 110 games, Duda hit .281 with nine home runs, 53 RBI and a .380 on-base percentage. The numbers painted the broader picture of his year, but Duda had one specific thing in mind when he headed into the 2009 season.

"It all goes back to getting my pitch and hitting it," Duda said earlier in the year. "I felt good coming in the season, and I must make sure that I get my pitch and hit it, not miss it. I had to lay off borderline pitches that I can't hit very well or hit for a high average."

Duda got started right from Opening Day. He hit .287 through the season's first two months and showed no ill signs transitioning to the Eastern League. For a B-Mets team that really struggled through the first couple months, Duda's production was a pivotal piece according to former B-Mets manager Mako Oliveras who skippered the first baseman in 2009.

"We knew coming into the season that Duda was going to be important for the team," said Oliveras midway through the year. "He's a guy who can hit for power and gets on base a lot which is what this team needed."

The power came on late when Duda hit seven of his home runs over his last 129 at-bats. It can be viewed as important exclamation point to Duda's season; one which will be viewed as a hopeful precursor of more power to come. He received an assignment to the Arizona Fall League, but went home after just two games due to injury.

The organization anticipated getting more at-bats for Duda. Nonetheless, sending the first baseman to the fall league provides a glimpse at the internal value afforded to him, someone the Mets look to get more out of in the near future.

Year

Team

AVG.

AB

Hits

HR

RBI

R

SB

BB

K

OBP

SLG

2009

Binghamton

.281

395

111

9

53

49

2

61

91

.380

.428

2008

St. Lucie

.263

483

127

11

66

58

2

66

129

.358

.398

2007

Brooklyn

.299

234

70

4

32

32

3

34

45

.398

.462



Batting and Power: Duda is a sound hitter who has a well formulated approach at the plate. He demonstrates a total understanding of the strike zone through a discerning eye and excellent patience. He knows how to work the count in his favor and can fight off pitches to extend at-bats. He has been near the top of the league in walks the last two seasons, and better pitch recognition led to a slight decrease in his strikeout ratio.

Duda has plenty of home run power, but is still much more of a line drive, power alley hitter. He has good bat speed but and is slowly developing more of an uppercut which will give his hits more carry and backspin. He did a better of job of staying back through the strike zone to make him less pull conscience, but that has yet to fully mature. His splits against right-handed and left-handed pitching are his biggest flaw.

He mashes righties, but his lack of timing and rhythm, which goes back to being pull happy, drastically decreases his effectiveness against southpaws. He does not pick up the ball as well versus left-handers. Correcting that and building a better timing mechanism will give him a better shot against lefties.

Base Running and Speed: Duda has good speed for a guy his size but he is still limited in what he can do on the bases. He will not clog up the lanes, but he is not a fast enough runner to take two bases on routine plays. He understands base running situations and will rarely run himself into trouble.

Defense: Duda is an adequate first baseman. He plays what is hit at him, plays balls well to his glove side and has an average first baseman's arm. He is not quick enough to his backhand and is not consistent play in between hops or coming off the bag to make plays. He was moved to the outfield in 2009 and was steady. Like the infield, he can play what is hit at him. He gets rid of the ball with enough carry on his throws, but do not expect Duda to make the big plays.

Projection: Duda has the tools to handle big league pitching, but his hole against left-handers and his shortcomings defensively will limit his ceiling to a infield-outfield utility player who can provide some pop off the bench. That likely will not change unless he shows a dramatic increase in his ability to handle pitching from both sides.

ETA: 2011. Duda should be off to Triple-A this season where he will likely spend most of his time in the outfield. Though he will be one step away from New York, he has yet to show enough to persuade the Mets to give him a shot this upcoming season. He should enter 2011 with the opportunity to compete for a spot on the end of the big league bench.


Amazin Clubhouse Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nTo discuss all of the scouting reports, head to the Subscribers Forum
\r\n
\r\nVital Statistics
\r\nName: Lucas Duda
\r\nDOB: February 3, 1986
\r\nHeight: 6'5\"
\r\nWeight: 240
\r\nBats: Left
\r\nThrows: Right
\r\nStatus: 7th Round (2007) – Southern California
\r\n
\r\nThe future at first base for the New York Mets continues to be a point of significant discussion and emphasis. While Ike Davis has generated much of the attention for the position, Lucas Duda is still working to keep himself on the radar. Duda has yet to provide the big power numbers expected from a guy his size and at a premium position, but he has kept himself in competition due to consistent production.
\r\n
\r\nDuda followed up on a solid season in High-A in 2008 with an equal performance, and at times superior, in Double-A. In 110 games, Duda hit .281 with nine home runs, 53 RBI and a .380 on-base percentage. The numbers painted the broader picture of his year, but Duda had one specific thing in mind when he headed into the 2009 season.
\r\n
\r\n\"It all goes back to getting my pitch and hitting it,\" Duda said earlier in the year. \"I felt good coming in the season, and I must make sure that I get my pitch and hit it, not miss it. I had to lay off borderline pitches that I can't hit very well or hit for a high average.\"
\r\n
\r\nDuda got started right from Opening Day. He hit .287 through the season's first two months and showed no ill signs transitioning to the Eastern League. For a B-Mets team that really struggled through the first couple months, Duda's production was a pivotal piece according to former B-Mets manager Mako Oliveras who skippered the first baseman in 2009.
\r\n
\r\n\"We knew coming into the season that Duda was going to be important for the team,\" said Oliveras midway through the year. \"He's a guy who can hit for power and gets on base a lot which is what this team needed.\"
\r\n
\r\nThe power came on late when Duda hit seven of his home runs over his last 129 at-bats. It can be viewed as important exclamation point to Duda's season; one which will be viewed as a hopeful precursor of more power to come. He received an assignment to the Arizona Fall League, but went home after just two games due to injury.
\r\n
\r\nThe organization anticipated getting more at-bats for Duda. Nonetheless, sending the first baseman to the fall league provides a glimpse at the internal value afforded to him, someone the Mets look to get more out of in the near future.
\r\n
\r\n\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n
\r\n

Year

\r\n

\r\n Team

\r\n

\r\n AVG.

\r\n

\r\n AB

\r\n

\r\n Hits

\r\n

\r\n HR

\r\n

\r\n RBI

\r\n

R

\r\n

\r\n SB

\r\n

\r\n BB

\r\n

K

\r\n

\r\n OBP

\r\n

\r\n SLG

\r\n

\r\n 2009

\r\n

\r\n Binghamton

\r\n

\r\n .281

\r\n

\r\n 395

\r\n

\r\n 111

\r\n

\r\n 9

\r\n

\r\n 53

\r\n

\r\n 49

\r\n

\r\n 2

\r\n

\r\n 61

\r\n

\r\n 91

\r\n

\r\n .380

\r\n

\r\n .428

\r\n

\r\n 2008

\r\n

\r\n St. Lucie

\r\n

\r\n .263

\r\n

\r\n 483

\r\n

\r\n 127

\r\n

\r\n 11

\r\n

\r\n 66

\r\n

\r\n 58

\r\n

\r\n 2

\r\n

\r\n 66

\r\n

\r\n 129

\r\n

\r\n .358

\r\n

\r\n .398

\r\n

\r\n 2007

\r\n

\r\n Brooklyn

\r\n

\r\n .299

\r\n

\r\n 234

\r\n

\r\n 70

\r\n

\r\n 4

\r\n

\r\n 32

\r\n

\r\n 32

\r\n

\r\n 3

\r\n

\r\n 34

\r\n

\r\n 45

\r\n

\r\n .398

\r\n

\r\n .462


\r\n
\r\nBatting and Power: Duda is a sound hitter who has a well formulated approach at the plate. He demonstrates a total understanding of the strike zone through a discerning eye and excellent patience. He knows how to work the count in his favor and can fight off pitches to extend at-bats. He has been near the top of the league in walks the last two seasons, and better pitch recognition led to a slight decrease in his strikeout ratio.
\r\n
\r\nDuda has plenty of home run power, but is still much more of a line drive, power alley hitter. He has good bat speed but and is slowly developing more of an uppercut which will give his hits more carry and backspin. He did a better of job of staying back through the strike zone to make him less pull conscience, but that has yet to fully mature. His splits against right-handed and left-handed pitching are his biggest flaw.
\r\n
\r\nHe mashes righties, but his lack of timing and rhythm, which goes back to being pull happy, drastically decreases his effectiveness against southpaws. He does not pick up the ball as well versus left-handers. Correcting that and building a better timing mechanism will give him a better shot against lefties.
\r\n
\r\nBase Running and Speed: Duda has good speed for a guy his size but he is still limited in what he can do on the bases. He will not clog up the lanes, but he is not a fast enough runner to take two bases on routine plays. He understands base running situations and will rarely run himself into trouble.
\r\n
\r\nDefense: Duda is an adequate first baseman. He plays what is hit at him, plays balls well to his glove side and has an average first baseman's arm. He is not quick enough to his backhand and is not consistent play in between hops or coming off the bag to make plays. He was moved to the outfield in 2009 and was steady. Like the infield, he can play what is hit at him. He gets rid of the ball with enough carry on his throws, but do not expect Duda to make the big plays.
\r\n
\r\nProjection: Duda has the tools to handle big league pitching, but his hole against left-handers and his shortcomings defensively will limit his ceiling to a infield-outfield utility player who can provide some pop off the bench. That likely will not change unless he shows a dramatic increase in his ability to handle pitching from both sides.
\r\n
\r\nETA: 2011. Duda should be off to Triple-A this season where he will likely spend most of his time in the outfield. Though he will be one step away from New York, he has yet to show enough to persuade the Mets to give him a shot this upcoming season. He should enter 2011 with the opportunity to compete for a spot on the end of the big league bench.
\r\n
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