There have been tons of comparisons made between Lucas Duda and Ike Davis since Davis was dealt to Pittsburgh in April. Instead of comparing Duda and Davis, it makes much more sense to compare Duda to the rest of the league.
Jul 4, 2014; New York, NY, USA; New York Mets first baseman Lucas Duda (21) rounds the bases after hitting a two run home run in the first inning against Texas Rangers at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
So far in 2014, Duda is hitting .251/.348/.471 with 13 home runs and 44 RBI.
Duda is hitting one home run per every 19.9 at-bats. Anthony Rizzo, who leads National League first basemen with 18 home runs, is averaging one homer per every 17.6 at-bats, while playing his home games in one of the most hitter friendly environments in baseball (Rizzo averages one home run per every 20.7 at-bats on the road).
Duda is fifth among qualified National League first basemen in OBP, and sixth in extra base hits.
As far as personal improvements, Duda has improved his strikeout rate dramatically in 2014.
Duda struck out a tick over 26 percent of the time in both 2012 and 2013, but has slashed that percentage to 21.7 percent in 2014.
Extrapolated over the rest of the season, Duda is on pace to hit 24 home runs, 33 doubles, and drive in 80 runs.
It needs to be noted that the above numbers for Duda would be achieved in just 471 at-bats, which would be quite impressive.
While he often bears the brunt of fan displeasure, Lucas Duda is not part of the problem.
What the Mets need to do, is find a reliable platoon partner for Duda, who has hit .156 against lefties this season (he’s hit .215 against them for his career).
Eric Campbell has hit .341 against left-handers in a small sample size in 2014, but hasn’t shown much power.
If Campbell’s power ticks upward, he could be the guy who steps in for Duda against lefties. If not, the Mets will need to find someone else.
Either way, Duda has proven in 2014 that if used properly, he’s part of the solution – not part of the problem.