Mets360 2017 projection review: Lucas Duda

The next player in our preseason projection review series is the gentle giant, and chronically underappreciated, Lucas Duda. The second-longest tenured Met behind David Wright, Duda had surprisingly little goodwill with Mets fans despite being top four all-time for Mets first basemen in home runs, runs, RBIs, and wRC+. Duda was the first domino to fall as the Mets conceded 2017 by offloading expiring contracts, and he was traded to the Rays shortly before the deadline. While we at Mets360 didn’t necessarily think a trade was in the cards, we at least projected him to lose a bit of playing time against tough lefties after coming off of an injury-plagued 2016:

PA – 461
AVG – .251
OBP – .346
SLG – .490
HR – 25
RBI – 73
K% – 23%

Here’s how he actually did across both the Mets and Rays, with the best and worst individual projections among our group:

PA – 491
Best – O’Malley (475)
Worst – Koehler, Ryan (350)

AVG – .217
Best – Ryan (.228)
Worst – Barbieri (.267)

OBP – .322
Best – Ryan (.319), O’Malley (.325)
Worst – Walendin (.355)

SLG – .496
Best – Hangley, Barbieri (.497)
Worst – O’Malley (.442)

HR – 30
Best – Barbieri, Allison (29)
Worst – Fox (18)

RBI – 64
Best – Rogan, Koehler, Fox (65)
Worst – Barbieri (89)

K% – 27.5
Best – Koehler (26.0)
Worst – Joura (20.5)

Our group projection was a bit optimistic in some areas while pessimistic in others. Such is the enigma that is Lucas Duda. He turned down a three-year, roughly $30 million extension offer from the Mets before the 2015 season that looked like a terrible decision in 2016, but with the ludicrous contract Carlos Santana received from the Phillies (three years/$60 million) it looks like he should be able to get at least that from some team not named the Mets this offseason. I wish him the best of luck. Just, of course, not against the Mets.

10 comments for “Mets360 2017 projection review: Lucas Duda

  1. Pete from NJ
    December 20, 2017 at 12:17 pm

    Curious about Santana vs Duda. The latter has a but more power while Santana has a better OBP. I didn’t realize Santana had a catching history which can set him up as the emergency third string.

    Yet I read/hear very little about Lucas this off season perhaps his Tampa Bay statistics is the killer?

    • Jimmy P
      December 20, 2017 at 1:43 pm

      Glut at 1B right now, lot of options. I’m not at all convinced Duda won’t regret turning down that Mets contract.

      $20 million for Santana seems pretty crazy, though that park is great for putting up big numbers, so it might not end up looking so bad.

      • Name
        December 20, 2017 at 5:14 pm

        Of course in hindsight he regrets it.

        He made $6.725 mil in 2016 and $7.25 mil in 2017. He’ll need a 1 year $16 mil deal this year just to be on par with the 3/$30 original Mets offer, yet i’ll consider him lucky if he gets 2 years for $16 million.

        • Jimmy P
          December 21, 2017 at 2:17 pm

          Was responding to Rob’s original comment in the article:

          >> He turned down a three-year, roughly $30 million extension offer from the Mets before the 2015 season that looked like a terrible decision in 2016, but with the ludicrous contract Carlos Santana received from the Phillies (three years/$60 million) it looks like he should be able to get at least that from some team not named the Mets this offseason. <<

          • December 22, 2017 at 5:24 am

            With the market for 1B, three years is likely pushing it, sure. I’d be surprised if he couldn’t secure a two-year deal, though I wouldn’t be shocked if it’s just for one year like many folks seem to think is the case. It seems that he’s being seen as a platoon player, which is understandable given his career 84 wRC+ against lefties.

            Alonso just got a 2/yr $22mil deal, and he’s never had seasons as good as Duda’s best and is equally as bad against lefties. Maybe that’s the bar we should use for Duda.

            • December 22, 2017 at 5:36 am

              Sorry, meant 2/$16 for Alonso.

          • Name
            December 22, 2017 at 1:09 pm

            I was agreeing with you. You used a double negative, maybe unintentionally.

            “I’m not at all convinced Duda won’t regret turning down that Mets contract”

            not convinced…won’t regret = convinced will regret

  2. Steevy
    December 20, 2017 at 5:16 pm

    Lucas slumped really,really bad down the stretch in Tampa….

  3. December 21, 2017 at 1:07 am

    I’m still glad to see his low average, poor speed and high K’s not in Flushing anymore. He was a big part of the inefficient station-to-station/home run-happy offense that Sandy Alderson built. That doesn’t work and if Dominic Smith can win the spot, he’s likely to put the ball in play a lot more.

    • Jimmy P
      December 21, 2017 at 2:31 pm

      FWIW: Last season Duda had an all-time high K-rate of 27.5%; his career rate is 24.1%.

      Smith last season whiffed at a 26.8% rate.

      We may *hope* he puts the ball in play more often, and perhaps his ML career suggests it, but it’s hardly “likely.” Smith did not play as advertised in any capacity last season. And yet . . . he’s 22 years old and has a history of struggling with transitions.

      I would sign up right now for the hitter that Smith is “supposed” to be: Good average, strong contact rate, gap to gap hitter (20 HRs). I don’t think you can hand him the full-time job unless you are clearly rebuilding. Personally, I’d play Alonso at 1B in Vegas over Smith in 2018.

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