Lucas Duda is very glad that Jay Bruce and Travis d’Arnuad are on the team. They may or may not be buddies in real life but those two keep Duda from being the least popular starter. It’s hard to understand why Duda isn’t more liked by the fanbase. Perhaps there are people who haven’t shaken the image of what a lousy outfielder he was. Or maybe they prefer guys who are more colorful.

In his last two healthy seasons, Duda has put up a 130 and a 137 OPS+, which is very strong production. In his last healthy year, Duda posted an .878 OPS against LHP. Both UZR (+0.3) and DRS (+9) show him being average or better defensively the past three years. Yet too many fans have his bags packed and eagerly await his replacement, regardless if that’s Bruce or Wilmer Flores of Dominic Smith.

Of course, Duda missed significant time last year with a back injury and then needed two cortisone shots to get on the field this Spring. But since he started playing, Duda has been hitting quite well, with a .911 OPS in Grapefruit League play, with eight of his 10 hits going for extra bases. Everyone’s talked about the good Spring Michael Conforto has had. Conforto has an .873 OPS. No one much mentions Duda’s play.

Here’s our chance to discuss Duda and below are our individual forecasts for him:

Dalton Allsion 440 .259 .350 .490 29 86 22.0
Joe Barbieri 581 .267 .348 .497 29 89 21.9
John Fox 410 .241 .345 .455 18 65 23.0
Charlie Hangley 415 .251 .346 .497 22 71 22.3
Brian Joura 530 .255 .351 .490 27 81 20.5
Mike Koehler 350 .235 .330 .450 20 65 26.0
Matt Netter 400 .259 .325 .500 34 68 30.0
Jim O’Malley 475 .243 .325 .442 21 70 23.0
Rob Rogan 515 .240 .350 .460 26 65 25.0
Mike Ryan 350 .228 .319 .530 22 58 22.0
Chris Walendin 600 .255 .355 .485 26 82 24.0

The expectation is that despite his success versus lefties in 2015, that Wilmer Flores will see time at first when a southpaw is on the mound, thus cutting into his plate appearances. Furthermore, Duda has been batting lower in the order, frequently seventh during Grapefruit League season. Still we have a wide range of outcomes, with Mike K. seeing 350 PA and Chris forecasting 600. We have Matt predicting a HR surge with 34 in 400 PA and John expecting just 18 in 410 trips to the plate.

Here is our official forecast:

Given the playing time expectation, our forecast seems a tad optimistic on the power production. Now let’s see what the computer model – which don’t know that he’s likely to be at least partially platooned – see for Duda:

Mets360 461 .251 .346 .490 25 73
Steamer 449 .242 .343 .452 20 60
ZiPS 382 .242 .343 .477 20 62

Indeed, ours stands apart from the two computer models. That’s not surprising but it’s at least a little interesting that Steamer projects 67 more PA yet the HR and RBI forecasts for Steamer and ZiPS are nearly identical.

Check back tomorrow as we turn our projections to Bruce.

4 comments on “Mets360 2017 projections: Lucas Duda

  • Chris B

    Not that I agree with the claim, but I think the knock on Duda is the hot and cold stretches mixed with K%. For whatever reason people will turn to OPS to support certain players but not others.

  • Metsense

    His career 792 OPS avg and 26 home runs does not make him an elite first baseman but more in the second tier of NL first baseman. I have always been a Duda fan. I think is is an adequate fielder and is a full time player but Flores mashes LHP, has a longer contract and earned the LHP at bats. If he is platooned with Flores he should still play in 25% the games put up good numbers.
    PA 525, AVG .252, OBP.343, SLG .478, HR 24, RBI 72, K% 20.8

  • Jimmy P

    I’ve always liked him. Never been in love.

    “We’re just friends.”

    An OPS above .800 would be good.

    Above .825 and we’re talking.

    The issue with Duda, moving forward, is the downside of arbitration and the inexorable escalation of contracts.

    He has a lot riding on this season in terms of his market value. I can’t begin to project the kind of contract he’d be offered a year from now. I mean, the range is pretty wide open.

    Like a pitcher that needs 30 starts, Duda is a guy who needs 500+ ABs and a year of health.

    • Chris F

      Hes a FA after this season. So, I suspect this is the end of LD in Orange & Blue

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