Player A career: .249/.340/.446, .197 ISO, 12.1 BB%, 18.4 K%, .344 wOBA, 117 wRC+
Player B career: .246/.342/.424, .178 ISO, 11.3 BB%, 23.5 K%, .336 wOBA, 115 wRC+
Johnson, of course, is thought of as one of the best players on the great Mets teams of the mid-to-late 80s, and Duda is thought of by some as a good-for-nothing on some really bad teams.
Some of you might be thinking that this comparison might not be the best because Johnson’s numbers are dragged down by a few bad years at the end of his career. Fine. Let’s look at just their age 27 seasons, which for Johnson means 1988, and Duda means 2013.
Johnson 1988: .230/.343/.422, .192 ISO, 14.5 BB%, 17.5 K%, .330 wOBA, 118 wRC+
Duda 2013: .223/.352/.415, .192 ISO, 14.3 BB%, 26.6 K%, .340 wOBA, 120 wRC+
Well I’ll be damned if Duda isn’t just Johnson with more strikeouts and a higher OBP. But then again, the league struck out 29.2 percent more often in 2013 than in 1988, and walked 11.3 percent less.
You can probably blame a good portion of the negativity about Duda to his strikeout totals. While the stigma of the strikeout is fading among players and front office types, fans still stigmatize the strikeout.
It could also be because of Duda’s apparent lack of athleticism. Johnson could steal bases and play reasonable defense in his younger days, the latter being something Duda won’t do unless he’s moved to full time to first base.
And here lies the main issues with Duda – he can’t seem to find any kind of consistent playing time, and when he does, it’s not at his natural position of first base.
By moving Duda full time to first base (and presumably trading Davis to either Pittsburgh or Milwaukee), he may finally blossom into a player who give the Mets two or three wins. While that’s nothing to write home about, the Mets haven’t gotten that level of production form a first baseman since Ike Davis’ rookie season in 2010.
Quite frankly, he would probably be at that level already if the team had committed to putting him at first base. He has never posted a UZR/150 better than -28.4 at his primary position, which has always been left or right field. At first base, Duda has been a scratch defender.
Over the last three years, Duda’s dWAR numbers are as follows: -1.8, -2.2, -2.1. That Duda has been able to break the 0 fWAR plane in two of the last three years is a testament to how good of a hitter he really is. Give Davis the same defensive numbers and he doesn’t even come close to breaking replacement level.
The idea that some people would rather see Davis in the lineup every day instead of Duda because he hit 32 home runs in 2011 is beyond foolish.
Duda gets on base more, and depending on which one of the four versions of Davis happens to be playing at that point, hits for roughly the same amount of power, too. Not to mention that he’s the best leadoff option on the team right now, and by that, I mean, the only one that makes sense.
The Mets should be making roster decisions based off of who can help the team the most, and at first base, Duda helps the team far more than Davis.
Joe Vasile is the voice of the Fayetteville (NC) SwampDogs. Follow him on Twitter at @JoeVasilePBP.
 Yes, I just opened up that can of worms.