Mets Thoughts: Duda In Outfield, Smith In Savannah, D’Arnaud’s Warming Up

Let me first say how much fun I had participating in my first MMO game thread from the first pitch until the bitter end. There were only 2-3 recognizable fans to me among the 60 or so who participated, but it was so cool getting to know a lot of you new people to MMO. I had only known most of you from your comments on our articles, but last night I felt like I was at the ballpark with all of you. You’re an amazing group of passionate Mets fans and I’m looking forward to the real game threads now… One more day!

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Terry Collins uttered those words I hoped never to hear again on Friday night, when he told reporters that he’d have no hesitation running Lucas Duda to the outfield this season. He added that the reason it didn’t happen in spring training was not a case of backpedaling on the issue, but that he didn’t want to risk further injuring Duda’s tight hamstring.

Oh brother… You almost want to see Duda wrestle that first base job away from Ike Davis just so we don’t have to be confronted with the site of fly balls soaring over Duda’s head as he’s running toward the infield with his outstretched hands. Come on Terry… Give us all a break…

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Did you catch the good news regarding last year’s top draft pick Dominic Smith? A source told Adam Rubin that he will skip past Short Season Brooklyn and and begin the 2014 season with the Single-A Savannah Sand Gnats at the ripe old age of 18 years old. He should easily be the youngest player in the South Atlantic League this year, so please, no barking if he gets off to a slow start.

This is such a huge step for Smith who many saw as one of the most polished high school players in the draft last June. He was already tabbed as the second best first base prospect in the game by Jonathan Mayo last month, and the No. 11 overall pick had a great pro debut, batting .301 with a .398 OBP and .837 OPS in his first 51 games.

“He looks like the total package at first base, combining solid athleticism and defense with a sweet left-handed swing,” Mayo said of the 18 year old.

I initially tabbed his MLB debut to happen in 2017, but if he manhandles the Sally like some believe he will, Smith could push his debut to 2016 at 20 years old under the right circumstances. One word. Wow.

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Finally, I’m feeling a lot better about Travis d’Arnaud than I was a month ago. Not that I was ever really clawing at walls or anything, but lets just say I had some mild concerns. Not anymore. After blasting his third home run of the spring in just his 49th at-bat, I have to tell you, the power is certainly there.

As long as this talented 25-year old backstop can chill out a little and stop pressing so hard, we may just have ourselves a catcher who can pop 20+ homers a season and become a valuable run-producer in our lineup. This kid has proven to be better than expected defensively and can handle a rotation. If he can combine that with some solid offense we have ourselves a potential all star behind the plate. But let me not get too far ahead of myself…

We have a game at 1:00 PM, same place, same opponent… After that, it’s on… Lets Go Mets!

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About Joe D 7944 Articles
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, '00 and '15, 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.