2011 stats - .292 BA, 10 HR, 50 RBI, 301 AB
If the expectations are high, yet solid, for Ike Davis, then those expectations for Lucas Duda are above average but cautious.
Duda got his first call up to the big leagues in 2010 and mightily struggled during that stint. The Mets had Duda up during parts of the early season in 2011 and those struggles continued for the outfielder. However, none of those call ups gave Duda the chance to play every day and find a consistent groove. Not until the Mets traded away Carlos Beltran in July did Duda get a chance to play every and once that happened, he showed what type of hitter he can be.
Lucas Duda has the build of your typical power hitter. A tall, burly left handed hitter, he has drawn some early comparisons to Jason Giambi; very fitting considering those comparisons came from General Manager Sandy Alderson, the same man who drafted Giambi in Oakland years ago. The Mets are saying all the right things publicly about Duda and expectations they have for the 26 year old this upcoming season, but they are not fooling anyone. The organization is praying and banking on Duda to be the cap in the middle of the lineup, which should be Wright-Davis-Bay-Dude, hitting 3 through 6. Putting up 20 HR and around 90 RBI would be exactly what this lineup needs from its right fielder.
A main concern with Duda is his ability to play a strong right field defensively. The Mets are believing that with a full Spring Training, Duda will get plenty of work and will be able to perform his duties without an issue. Another factor playing in his favor is the wall change over at Citi Field. With the Mets evening out the walls and pulling them in some, especially in right field, Duda will have less ground to travel on his way to the baseball. One final factor that is a plus for him is Andres Torres, his new center fielder. Torres is known more for his defense and is a better fielder than Angel Pagan, the man who was next to Duda last season.