11/8/09

The Keepers - #31 - OF - Lucas Duda

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31. Lucas Duda – OF – AA -


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.

From his college web site: 2007: In his 2007 junior season, Duda made 51 of 53 starts in left field...drafted in the seventh round by the New York Mets...led the team with seven home runs...on April 6 at No. 9 Oregon State, he hit two triples including a two-run hit to break a 1-1 tie in the eighth during USC's 4-1 victory...went 3-for-4 with two RBI on March 27 at UC Riverside... had a career day on March 25 against No. 17 Arizona State with two home runs and six RBI...hit a grand slam as part of an eight-run sixth inning against the Sun Devils and gave USC the 14-13 win with a walkoff, two-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the ninth...hit a three-run homer in USC's 6-4 win on Jan. 30 in the season opener against Cal Poly.

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.

In late January 2007, Baseball America listed Lucas as the 29th top Mets prospect.

In February 2008, MiLB.com came out with their top 15 prospects out of the Hawaiian Winter League: 14. Lucas Duda, Waikiki BeachBoys, - Had Duda been entrenched in Waikiki's lineup from the get-go, instead of joining the squad midseason as an injury replacement, the slugging USC product would have competed for league all-star honors. In 15 games and a resulting 59 plate appearances, Duda notched a .340 batting average coupled with a .660 slugging percentage with six doubles, a triple, three home runs and 13 RBIs. While the Los Angeles native needs some time to smooth out a few rough edges of his game, including his defense at first base and possibly one of the corner outfield spots, Duda's raw power and size should allow him to move up the ladder quickly

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.

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.

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