The Keepers - #23 - 1B/OF - Lucas Duda

23. Lucas Duda

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.

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.

7-3-10 from: - http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20100703&content_id=11864996&vkey=news_milb&fext=.jsp  - Duda tied a team record by homering for the fifth straight game, powering the Bisons to a 12-4 romp over the Rochester Red Wings at Coca-Cola Field. Wrapping up his first month at the Triple-A level, the former seventh-round pick drilled a 1-2 pitch from Anthony Swarzak in the third inning over the right-center field fence for his sixth homer in 16 games with Buffalo. The 24-year-old outfielder was promoted by the Mets after hitting .286 with six homers and 34 RBIs in 45 games at Double-A Binghamton. He batted .222 without a homer in his first seven games with the Bisons but is hitting .419 (13-for-31) with six homers and 12 RBIs in his last nine contests.

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.

7-5-10: - The International League today named Buffalo Bisons OF LUCAS DUDA the IL Batter of the Week for June 28-July 4. Duda homered in a Buffalo record-tying five consecutive games last week, matching a mark set by four other players in the 125-year history of the team (Ollie Carnegie, Carlos Garcia, Bill Selby and Andy Marte). The 24-year old hit a three-run shot on Monday, June 29 in the final game of a series in Charlotte. Duda then hit solo home runs in three straight games before tying the record with a two-run shot on Friday, July 2 against Rochester. Duda led all International League batters with five home runs, 11RBI and a 1.000 slugging percentage last week. In his first three weeks at the Triple-A level, Duda has hit .292 (19-65) with five doubles, a triple, six home runs and 17RBI in 18 games for the Bisons. Duda becomes the third Bisons player to be named IL Batter of the Week in 2010. INF Mike Hessman (April 26-May 2) and OF Jesus Feliciano (May 17-23).

7-6-10 from: - http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20100705&content_id=11953216&vkey=news_milb&fext=.jsp  - International League - Lucas Duda, Buffalo - .304/.433/1.000, 7-for-23, 1 2B, 0 3B, 5 HR, 11 RBI, 6 R, 6 BB, 2 K, 0 SB - After hitting one homer in his first 11 Triple-A games, Mets prospect Lucas Duda exploded for one in each of his next five games. The streak started on Monday in Charlotte, when Duda was 2-for-4 with four RBIs, and ended against Rochester in Buffalo on Friday, when he clubbed a double -- one of two hits for Duda this week that didn't land on the other side of a fence -- and plated three runs. Duda's week crumbled over Saturday and Sunday; he was 0-for-7 with one RBI between those two games. Despite all of his hard swings, the outfield prospect struck out just twice over the course of the week.

7-12 from: - http://www.amazinavenue.com/2010/7/12/1564807/mid-term-farm-system-review-part-i  - Lucas Duda has been oneof the bigger surprises in the Mets system so far this season. He started the year on a tear in Binghamton before a right hamstring strain in May landed him on the DL for about a month. It was no coincidence that the team lost nine games straight immediatelely after. Upon returning he was understandably rusty but the offense-starved Bisons (drained by promotions and injuries) needed support so he was promoted anyway. What he's done since is nothing short of amazing: In 24 games in Buffalo alone Duda has already knocked nine home runs, approaching his career high of 11 in '08. At one point he rode an incredible five-game homer streak, only the fifth Bison to do so in their 125-yr history. This power surge is a welcome surprise for Duda who even back to his days at USC has been regarded as a lumbering lefty with a nice penchant for contact but not enough power for a first baseman/corner outfielder. What's more, even his K:BB ratio has improved tremendously this season. There is some negative here as he is still exhibiting some pretty heavy platoon splits (.177 BAA vs. lefties) but suddenly Duda has gone from nice organizational filler to a definite major league piece, even if that is just a platoon player.

7-28-10: - Duda not only continues to hit at the AAA level, but his hitting is timely as well. Last night, he kocked 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.

8-3-10: - http://bleacherreport.com/articles/428260-mets-july-organizational-report-players-of-the-month  - AAA Buffalo Bisons, Position Player of the Month: Outfielder, Lucas Duda - Just like last month, Duda has proven to make an outstanding adjustment to AAA pitching, and has continued his hard hitting. In 26 games in July for Buffalo, Duda amassed 31 hits while posting a .313 batting average. He crushed nine home runs and drove in 25 runs. He's looking like a reliable middle-of-the-order type hitter who has plenty of pop and can drive in runners regularly. Again, his plate discipline will need some work, but he continues to be shooting in the right direction.

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.

9-1-10: - http://bleacherreport.com/articles/445049-mets-roster-expansion-keep-your-eyes-peeled-for-these-five-guys  - I’ve been pumped about the development of outfielder Lucas Duda all season. He is a hulking individual, standing in at 6’5’’ and 240 pounds, so we’ll see how mobile he can be in the outfield. But the left-handed swinging outfielder has put up the most dominant power numbers I’ve seen from a Mets' prospect this year. The 24 year-old made a flawless transition from AA to AAA as well. Between 110 games in both stops, he has hit .303 with 23 home runs while driving in 87. He struck out 77 times while drawing 58 walks. He pulverized right-handed pitching at Buffalo this season, hitting .353 against them. There is a lot of unexpected upside here, so it will be interesting to see what he can do.

http://www.brooklyncyclones.com/news/topstories/index.html?article_id=979  - 2010 Sterling Player of the Year: Lucas Duda - Duda split time during the 2010 campaign between Binghamton (AA) and Buffalo (AAA). In 114 games between the two stops, he hit .304 (129-424) with 74 runs scored, 40 doubles, 23 home runs and 87 RBI. After being promoted to Buffalo in mid-June he hit .314 (83-264) with 44 runs scored, 23 doubles, two triples, 17 home runs and 53 RBI in 70 games. The lefthanded-hitting Duda tied a Buffalo franchise record with a home run in five consecutive games from June 28th to July 2nd. In 2007, Duda made his professional debut with Brooklyn, and was a standout hitter for the '07 McNamara Division championship team, splitting time between first base and left field. He hit .299 (70-for-234) that year, with 32 runs, 20 doubles, three triples, four home runs, 32 RBI, and three stolen bases. Duda also hit a mammoth home run in Game One of the NYPL Semi-Finals to help Brooklyn beat Staten Island, who they would go on to sweep before losing in the Championship Series. Duda's 17-game hitting streak in 2007 still stands as the longest in franchise history.

9-29-10 from: - http://buffalo.bisons.milb.com/  - 2010 Notes: -Began the year at Double-A Binghamton, but finished the 2010 season as the Bisons Stan Barron Most Valuable Player. Also named Mets Organizational Sterling Award Winner as top minor league position player. -Promoted to the Bisons on June 14 to fi ll in for the injured Mike Hessman. Remained with the club until his fi rst big league promotion on September 1. -During his time in the IL, his 42 extra-base hits were 6 more than any other hitter in the league. -Finished the season 2nd on the Bisons in extra-base hits (42), T2nd in home runs (17), T3rd in doubles (23) and 4th in RBI (53). Hit .359 (14-39) with runners in scoring position/2 outs. -His .610 slugging percentage was 2nd on the Bisons among players with at least 100 at-bats. With .389 on-base percentage, he fi nished with a .999 OPS. -Hit .300+ in all 3 months with the team. Nine of his 17 home runs came in 26 July games. -Hit in 8 of fi rst 9 games with the club, June 14-24.-Tied a Bisons all-time record by hitting a home run in fi ve consecutive games, June 28 – July 2 (10RBI). Homered in 3 of the next 7 games after streak. -Was named IL Player of the week, June 29 – July 4 (.304, 7-23, 5HR, 11RBI). -Had 25 multi-hit games in only 70 games with the club. -Drove in 4 runs on 2 occasions, June 28 in Charlotte and August 13 in Pawtucket. -Scored a run in 8 straight games, August 2-10 (11R). -Showed good plate discipline and fi nished 3rd on Bisons with 31 walks in only 70 games.

11-8-10 from: - http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20101107&content_id=16024590&vkey=news_nym&c_id=nym&partnerId=rss_nym  - Organizational Player of the Year - Lucas Duda, 1B: Duda begain the year as perhaps more of an organizational type, a seventh-rounder out of the 2007 Draft who was starting his second season in Double-A. By season's end, he was firmly on the map and in the big leagues after hitting .304/.398/.569 across two levels in the Mets system. He tied for the organizational lead in homers (23) while leading it outright in RBIs (87) and finishing third in batting average.

11-24-10 from: - http://www.metsgeek.com/showthread.php?658-Mets-Top-Twenty-Prospects&p=187156  - Lucas Duda. Lucas Duda had a dream 2010 season. He virtually went from non-prospect to mashing his way to a late season call up. Lucas’ primary tool is his power. He can mash the ball farther than anybody currently on the Mets 40 man roster. He’s tenth on my list because he’s older and there are still some unanswered questions. I think he can handle left field but can he handle left handed pitchers? I wonder if he’ll hit for a high average in the big leagues but his eye is good enough to compensate his lack of average with his ability to walk. Best case scenario: A solid major league slugger. Worst Case Scenario: Four A player.

12-20-10 from: - http://mets360.com/?p=5755&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Mets360%2Ffeed+%28Mets360+Feed%29  - OF/1B, Double-A/Triple-A/Majors, .314/.389/.610 in 298 PA - This is Duda’s line in Triple-A, when he had 42 XBH, including 17 HR. Duda saw extensive playing time with the Mets in September. He couldn’t buy a base hit his first two weeks in the majors. But in his final 55 PA, he put up a .314/.345/.647 line with 9 XBH and 4 HR. Duda has big-time power. The issue is: Where is he going to play? He played LF with the Mets in September, but that position is manned by Jason Bay. His best position is 1B, but Davis has a leg up there. Potentially, RF could be his home, but Duda was already stretched defensively in LF. In his brief action in the majors, he was below average in both range and arm. Again, Duda is a player that most others rank higher. My problem is that I just don’t see where he fits on the Mets. –

12-22-20 from: - http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=12623  - Lucas Duda, 1B/OF -

Year in Review: This massive slugger found his power stroke and bashed his way to the big leagues.

The Good: Duda is a potential offensive force who works the count well, waits for pitches he can hit, and then displays plus raw power. He's a good enough hitter to provide some average as well, as he does a good job on focusing on hard contact as opposed to powering balls out.

The Bad: Duda is a bat-only prospect with no other tool worth noting. He's a well below-average runner who is likely limited to first base. While the Mets have tried to develop him as an outfielder, he has the range of a lawn ornament and a poor arm.

Ephemera: Duda's big-league career started with a 1-for-33 slump, but he hit .314 after September 15.

Perfect World Projection: He could be a slugging first baseman or a horrible outfielder who makes up for it with the bat.

Fantasy Impact: He'll bring power for sure, but that's about it.

Path to the Big Leagues: With no room at the inn in New York, Duda will be back in Triple-A in 2011 barring an injury at the big-league level.


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