LUCAS DUDA, 1B
Player Data: Age: 31, Bats: Left, Throws: Right, Free Agency: 2018
2016 Primary Stats: .229/.302/.412, 7 HR, 23 RBI, 20 R, 172 PA
For Lucas Duda, there isn’t much to review of his 2016 season, having only played 47 games due to a lower back injury that plagued him. During the sparse amount of games that he played, he was underwhelming and certainly not the Duda that Mets fans have grown accustomed to, whether you like him or not.
Duda was able to come back towards the end of the season, but was relegated to a bench role – much to the delight of James Loney fans.
I gave Duda a D+ because he didn’t really do much for the team this year. I could have given him an incomplete grade because of the injuries he had, but he could have shown more in the games that he played. The most disappointing thing for Duda’s season was his lowest OBP at .302 since his rookie season, 40 points lower than his career average.
If the 2016 season showed us anything about Duda, it is about how vital he is to the team’s overall success when healthy. While Loney was solid for June and July, his play plummeted in August. His glove was fringe at best and his offensive productivity showed that he did not belong in the starting lineup everyday.
Even though Duda was not his usual self in his 47 games, the Mets would have been much better off with his production than Loney’s lack of.
The Mets could look to trade Duda before the upcoming season, but it is more likely that he will be the team’s starting first basemen than not. As long as he is healthy, it is more than reasonable to expect that he returns to a high-level of play. I anticipate that he will hit about .245/.340/.450 with about 25 HR and 80 RBI.