Mets360 2013 projections: Lucas Duda

Next up in our projection series is Lucas Duda. When it comes to the Mets’ offense, Duda is the wild card. The team figures to get something from David Wright and something from Ike Davis, perhaps a combined 50 HR and 170 RBIs. But will Duda make it a trio of productive hitters for the club or will it be more forgettable performance like he delivered in 2012? It wouldn’t surprise me if those guys combined for 250 RBIs. It also wouldn’t shock me if it was under 225, either.

Here’s what we think Duda will do in 2013:

Duda Projection PA AVG OBP SLG HR RBIs Swing%
Gray 535 .273 .350 .458 25 90 43.5
Hangley 430 .237 .301 .407 14 52 49.2
Joura 586 .268 .348 .475 28 95 41.5
Koehler 300 .250 .340 .410 15 55 41
Manners 550 .255 .340 .425 18 80 40
Mcwilliam 541 .265 .345 .430 19 73 42
Omalley 534 .250 .337 .422 20 76 38.6
Parker 450 .245 .335 .400 15 60 40
Rogan 549 .265 .370 .490 22 75 42
Rogers 510 .250 .340 .410 20 85 40
Stack 530 .287 .357 .473 23 86 45.3
Vasile 600 .250 .340 .425 20 72 41.3
Walendin 448 .222 .317 .422 18 52 43

Under batting coach Dave Hudgens, the Mets preached patience with their hitters last year, a lesson Duda took to heart. He swung at just 39.3 percent of the pitches he saw, the second-lowest mark on the club among those with at least 200 PA. This year Hudgens is working with Duda to carry over the same approach from batting practice to the game. The concern was that Duda was too busy and had too much movement during games.

A snarky reply might be that Duda was so impatient from taking pitches that he got too hyper when one came his way. Hopefully he can find the right balance of waiting for his pitch and attacking said pitch with the proper swing fundamentals. Duda had a 137 OPS+ in 347 PA in 2011 and it would be wonderful if he would deliver that performance again this season.

Here’s what the group thinks Duda will do in 2013:

It should be pointed out that whatever contributions Duda makes on offense could be completely negated by what he does on defense. Last year he had a (-16) Defensive Runs Saved in 670 innings, a total so amazingly poor it’s hard to really comprehend in all its raging ugliness.

Many in the fan base crucify Daniel Murphy for his poor fielding, yet Murphy had a (-11) DRS in an additional 457 innings. If we use UZR instead of DRS and extrapolate to 150 games, Duda was more than three times worse than Murphy last year on defense. Murphy posted a (-11.7) UZR/150 while Duda’s mark was (-38.6).

The Mets are moving Duda to left field this year and hopefully the switch to the other side of the diamond will help improve his numbers from mortifying to just plain bad. Regardless, the Mets will live with his defensive issues if he posts a 137 OPS+. But a repeat of his 2012 98 OPS+ makes that kind of defense completely intolerable.

Finally, let’s close with a table comparing the Mets360 numbers to those of the projection systems available from FanGraphs:

Duda Projection PA AVG OBP SLG HR RBIs
Bill James 510 .268 .356 .454 18 69
Mets360 505 .255 .340 .425 20 73
Oliver 545 .251 .335 .427 18 69
Steamer 454 .245 .330 .418 15 53
ZiPS 563 .248 .330 .418 18 74

The James projection has a little better AVG and SLG but basically all the systems essentially agree with our group. They all see a slight rebound from his 2012 numbers but nowhere close to the production that he displayed in 2011.

Knowing all this, it’s hard for a non-biased person to look at my predicted numbers for Duda and do anything besides laugh. That’s okay – send all the scorn you want my way. However, remember who was driving the Duda bus here in Spring Training when he goes off during the regular season.

For the opposite point of view, we have Mr. Hangley, who said of Duda, “I’m afraid he’s Kevin Maas.” Ouch. For those of you too young to remember, Maas was a one-time Yankees prospect who came up in 1990 and hit 21 HR in 254 ABs and had everyone convinced he was a future HR champ. He followed up with 23 HR in 1991 (in 500 ABs) and proceeded to hit just 21 more HR in his major league career, which ended in 1995.

Check back Thursday for our next entry in the projection series.

15 comments for “Mets360 2013 projections: Lucas Duda

  1. February 23, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    If Duda is going to fail then stop with the patient hitter approach and let him just be himself instead of trying to make him into something that is uncharacteristic of him. I would rather see him strike out 180 times but hit 35 home rums. Instead of trying to cut down his KO’s the Mets should accept the KO’s and work on his defense. He’s trying so hard to be patient that he winds up letting the pitches that he instinctively would swing at go by. I don’t think he will ever hit for a high average but if he can hit 30-35 home runs and drive in 85-90 runs then the team will have a solid 3-4-5 for the future.

    • Geoffrey
      February 24, 2013 at 9:49 pm

      Duda has always been a patient hitter in the major leagues and in the minor leagues.

  2. February 23, 2013 at 10:11 pm

    Hey Brian I was just looking at the picture you posted of Duda swinging. Is his left hand on the bat backwards? Shouldn’t it be underneath the bat? Just looks strange.

    • February 23, 2013 at 10:14 pm

      You may have just discovered the reason for his crummy year in 2012! Just imagine how good he’ll be when we teach him the right way to hold a bat…

      I think it’s an optical illusion of some kind. Either that or Mike K. is having some fun when he’s making these images in Photoshop.

      • Name
        February 24, 2013 at 12:27 am

        Speaking of Mike K, i’d like to hear his reasoning for projecting only 300 AB’s, yet projecting him having the best HR per AB rate of the group(which is 1 per 20).

        Are you projecting some sort of injury? Because if he’s hitting the ball out at that rate, he’d be in the lineup all year for sure.

        • February 24, 2013 at 2:44 am

          It’s a trade secret 😉

          Honestly, I’m not sold on Duda. I wanted to really like him after 2011, but he wasn’t good on defense then and last year was just so… terrible. I think he’ll have some pop, but I don’t think his other numbers really warrant a full-time position. I wouldn’t even be surprised if someone overachieves onto the roster and he underachieves his way off the roster.

  3. Metsense
    February 24, 2013 at 8:08 am

    NL Avg: 21 HR, 83 RBI, .762 OPS
    Duda:15 HR, 57 RBI, .718 OPS -1.4 WAR In 2011 10 HR, 50 RBI, .852 OPS +0.7 WAR
    Lucas Duda is not an outfielder. It is apparent that in 2013 the Mets are going to stick Duda in LF and hope his offense carries his defense. A good offensive 2013 would add value for Duda as a trade chip next winter. Through no fault of Duda, and because the Mets are desperate in the outfield, Duda is forced to play LF when he really is a 1B/DH. The Mets needed to make a decision in the winter of 2011. Who were they keepng, Ike or Duda? What was the front office thinking? Why couldn’t the coaches realize too many outs fall in front of Duda. Even a great offensive year in 2013 will not allow Duda to be above a 1.5 WAR (what Hairston was in 2012)because his defense is so poor. I hope that Duda makes Brian’s projection so that he can play 1B on another team in 2014 and bring something back in return. I think he is an above average major league first basemaan (NL Avg: 22 HR, 89 RBI, .777 OPS) so I think he will eventaully be better than the consensus but in 2013 his defense will get in the way and he will remain below average as a player. Lucas needs new scenery because I too am on his bandwagon and feel he will play better elsewhere in a more comfortable defensive setting. If the Met front office believes that after a strong offensive 2013 Duda is the future LF for the Mets then I will again question their thinking.

    • 3D
      February 28, 2013 at 4:49 am

      Although Duda will still be a terrible fielder, at least they have assembled an outfield that can catch the ball in the other two slots. Unlike the last two seasons when there was rarely one plus defender on the field at any time. In fact, a lot of the time, Bay and Duda were on the field at the same time, which makes it seem like a miracle the Mets ever got out of an inning.

      I don’t know how Cowgill, Nieuwenhuis, Byrd and Baxter will hit but they are all competent and above average fielders which will take some load off Duda this season.

  4. Jim OMalley
    February 24, 2013 at 8:11 am

    Duda is sort of like a young Swoboda. Can hit but can’t play defense. Do we have historical records of what Swoboda’s defensive.ratios (DRS) were in his career?

  5. Chris F
    February 24, 2013 at 8:28 am

    Metsense, that’s spot on.
    Jim, I don’t know, but just looking at Swaboda’s catch in the ’69 WS, a catch that DiMaggio called one of the best he’d ever seen, would place him a long way over Duda on defense is my guess.

  6. February 24, 2013 at 11:30 pm

    What I was trying to say is that at times the Met hitting instructors emphasize so much the aggressively patient hitter that opposing teams will just take advantage of that. With a first pitch fast ball right down the middle to start off knowing full well the philosophy of the Met organization. Do you admonish a player for not taking pitches? What if he hits a home run? To me it just depends on which plate appearance it is. First time up see the velocity and location. After that it’s up to the hitter.

  7. February 26, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    Duda is really tough to read based on his past couple of seasons, which is why I have him knocking in 73 and hitting 19 dingers. I mean I see and like the potential, but I just want consistant pop.

    I just don’t see him being able to hit the 100 RBI plateau. Actually I don’t see him hitting the 90 RBI mark.

    Here’s hoping he can prove me wrong for the Mets sake.

    • Name
      February 26, 2013 at 6:19 pm

      RBI’s aren’t a function of your own ability. It’s all dependent on luck and the people in front of you. Theoretically you could hit .300 with 50 HR’s and only drive in 75 if the people in front of you never get on. Of course that’s an extreme example, but the difference of 10 RBI’s for someone might be the person in front you of increasing their OBP by 15-25 points.

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