The often soft spoken Lucas Duda is turning into a solid first baseman right before our eyes. After the trade of Ike Davis, the job was handed to him and he hasn’t looked back since. We knew he could hit the long ball and his defense has looked more refined each and every day. Now he’s actually leading this team.
On Sunday, Duda crushed a pair of home runs, his 25th and 26th of the season. He drove in five runs, a career high and was part of a triple-play in the 6th inning. After the game, Duda had this to say about seeing Yasiel Puig breaking for home:
“It definitely kind of caught my eye…I was lucky enough to have just enough time and get the ball to Travis, and he made a good tag.”
“I got a few pitches up that I could handle. I put the barrel on them, and that was it.”
The man of many words was clear and concise. What he left out is that his first home run almost left Dodgers Stadium.
The type of season that Duda has put together is truly incredible considering he was in a platoon for the first month. He’s driven in 76 runs and is hitting .260. There’s nothing not to like about his overall game right now.
Thoughts from Joe D.
What blows my mind about Duda is how effortlessly he launches baseballs out of the park. All he has to do is make good contact and boom. No need for him to muscle anything over the wall, just make contact. His opposite field power is impressive.
Duda’s defense has also been worth noting and it continues to improve.
His critics say he can’t hit lefties, but I’d argue that he’s hit them well in the past so with some adjustments he can do it again.
The big takeaway here is that in Duda we are now set at first base, which is more than we could say when the year started.
Let’s hear it for the Big Lebowski.