2013 Means Everything For Duda

An article by posted on January 29, 2013

Am I the only one who sees a lot of Mike Pelfrey in Lucas Duda?

Duda is expected to be the bright and shining star in the Mets OF (heck he was supposed to last year also) and it reminds me of when Pelfrey unfairly was expected to be the ace.

It’s as if we see glimmers of hope and rather than accept the guy for what he is – we magnify it to make him something he isn’t and raise the expectations to the point he cannot possibly achieve.

I feel like we as a fan base have this notion that Duda is a 40 HR guy just because he’s big. Size doesn’t make you a great hitter. A great hitter hits 40 HR.

You always read or hear that number get thrown out there as if this is 2001 and hitting 40 HR is the norm.

In the last 3 years, only 8 different players have hit at least 40 HR in a season. They are Miguel Cabrera, Josh Hamilton, Curtis Granderson (2), Edwin Encarnacion, Adam Dunn, Ryan Braun, Jose Bautista (2), and Albert Pujols.

There are a lot of great hitters absent from that list. Prince Fielder, Giancarlo Stanton, Robinson Cano, Joey Votto, Mark Teixeira, and Matt Kemp just to name a few.

This 40 HR bar, or heck even 30 HR bar that seems to face Duda is a flawed design which is destined to make him fail.

Duda turns 27 this weekend and besides getting hot at the end of 2011, what has he done to prove he’s a starting OF on an average team?

In reality, Duda is a big, slow, below average fielder who can occasionally hit for power but doesn’t seem to adjust his approach at the plate at all.

This year, Lucas Duda’s future with the Mets will be decided. He was sent down to AAA last season in an effort to figure things out – if it gets to that point again, it could leave Duda without a job.

The pressure on Duda is slightly unfair. In a lackluster OF, he is expected to carry the load rather than do enough to keep his job. This is very similar to the days when Pelfrey became the ace by default. Though he worked hard, he could never live up to those expectations.

I don’t see how Duda can possibly reach expectations of being a prominent power hitter in the NL.

The bigger question is, can Duda do enough in 2013 to not only keep his job in 2014 – but to assure the Mets they don’t need a brand new outfield once again?

About the Author ()

Michael Branda grew up a Mets fan watching the mid 1980's teams and his favorite Met of all-time is (and was) Wally Backman. When it comes to sabermetrics versus old school thinking, he's in the middle and believes adopting new ways to get answers is helpful, especially when the old way has not produced results.

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