If Duda Can Gain Some More Confidence, Watch Out!

An article by posted on August 17, 2011

Yesterday I wrote about how Lucas Duda made what was a poor draft for the Mets in 2007, into a pretty good draft class for the Amazins. You can read about that below this updated commentary.

Today, in an article by John Harper of the Daily News, a Mets official shares some insight on Lucas Duda that I thought was worth noting:

“I’ve never seen a player of his ability who has had such a hard time getting comfortable in the big leagues,” says one person in the Mets organization. “It’s one thing to be quiet. With Lucas, it’s like he didn’t feel worthy of being there. That makes me wonder if he can realize his potential. But as he has gotten more comfortable the talent is just starting to ooze out of him. It’s a great sign.”

That’s not the first time I heard that about Duda. It seems like the one thing that has been holding Duda back has been his own confidence level. The kid simply has no idea of just how good he is.

I look at Duda and I see a bona fide middle of the order slugger with outstanding offensive skills and a great approach at the plate for someone as young as he is. But when you read or hear some of the things that Terry Collins, Justin Turner and R.A. Dickey have said about Duda, he doesn’t say much, is very subdued and is a little too hard on himself. 

It’s pretty odd from a fans point of view such as mine, that Duda would feel that he doesn’t belong, because as I see it, he’s probably the second best run producer on this team right now after David Wright.

Trust me Duda, you belong.

Original Post: Lucas Duda Is The Steal Of The Mets 2007 Draft Class

I’ve always considered the 2007 First Year Player Draft to be one of the worst in Omar Minaya’s time with the Mets, mostly because it never bore any fruit. Their top pick Eddie Kunz turned out to a big-time bust as did Nathan Vineyard, Scott Moviel and Brant Rustich. That’s not intended to be a knock on Omar Minaya, just the plain fact that our 2007 Draft selection were pretty bad, and yes that could happen to any team.

That said, a few of the mid-round selections are really starting to make noise and upon further review the 2007 draft could end up netting the Mets two, maybe three key players for the Mets. That’s usually that all any team could ask from any one draft class.

Dillon Gee, who was selected in the 21st round is already among the best rookie pitchers of this season and has proven to be more than capable enough of giving the Mets quality innings and keeping his team in the games. Definitely not cut out of the same cloth as other prospects like Matt Harvey, but Gee has been as effective as any of the other Mets pitchers and arguably better than Chris Capuano and Mike Pelfrey. If you give him a lead, chances are he’ll hold it for you.

But another player from the Mets’ 2007 draft class that really has me salivating is outfielder-first baseman Lucas Duda. The more we see of him, the more there is to like.

Duda had another big game for the Mets last night with three more hits including his second homer in as many days – another long blast to rightfield. On Sunday, Duda launched a 435-foot shot off Aaron Harang that still hasn’t landed. This kid’s power is scary good.

Terry Collins is so taken by his new slugger that he is already in 2012 mode and wanting to get Duda back in rightfield as soon as possible because that’s what Collin’s called ”his future role with the Mets.”

Since being re-called from Buffalo back in June, Duda is batting a robust .310 with five home runs and 30 RBI in 154 at- bats. He has been on fire in August.

I don’t do this for many players, but I caught myself doing this on Sunday… While leaving for the kitchen to go refill my drink, I stopped dead in my tracks when I heard Duda mentioned as next player up… That home run was worth the wait!

Duda has evolved into that left-handed middle of the order power hitter that the Mets have been searching for all season long, and the best part is that his evolution is far from complete.

He is a towering and intimidating presence at the plate. At 6 feet, 4 inches and 254 pounds, an opposing pitcher has to think twice before throwing a heater his way – what’s that old saying… 95 miles per hour coming in, 105 miles per hour going out – that’s Lucas Duda for you.

Silent, but deadly, like a Trident Class Submarine. This kid is a masher.

I don’t about you, but I’m kind of excited about the possibility of a lethal left-handed 1-2 punch of Lucas Duda and Ike Davis next season.

He is by far the break-through player of the season for the Mets, and in my opinion Duda has swept past Dillon Gee as the season’s top Mets rookie.

He has single-handedly turned what was a terrible 2007 draft class, into a surprisingly good one.

About the Author ()

I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.

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