Lucas Duda ranks 7th all time on the Mets home run list. For such a productive player, his departure comes with very little fanfare and hopefully he becomes more appreciated as time goes on
Yesterday the Mets made a deal that sent Duda to the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for relief prospect Drew Smith. It was looking inevitable that the team was going to move Duda at some point before the deadline but it does not make it any less sad to see him go.
Duda’s tenure in New York will unfortunately be most known by a lot of fans for that errant throw in game five of the 2015 World Series. However, his time in the Big Apple should be looked back on in a much better light than that one play.
Upon his departure, Duda finished ranked 13th in slugging percentage, 7th in home runs, 13th in OPS, 16th in doubles, and has the most home runs at Citi Field by anyone. He was a very productive and reliable bat for the Mets for parts of seven seasons.
Duda also provided a very sure hand at first base, and was way better defensively than most will give him credit for. Maybe the memories of him playing left field still linger in people’s minds, even though he was comically misplaced out there.
Imagine for a second that the Mets chose Ike Davis over Duda in 2014. Does the team make it to the World Series without him in 2015? It’s not an easy question to answer, but a fun one to look back on since the organization clearly made the correct decision on which one to keep. Ultimately, they probably do not get as far as they did that season without him.
As time goes on, I think Duda will get the credit he deserves. People will look back fondly of his quiet demeanor and of him hitting bombs to the Shea Bridge. It’s almost time for Dominic Smith and that’s exciting but bittersweet at the same time. Duda was a very good Met and hopefully he has some #DudaSmashes saved up for the stretch run with Tampa Bay.