Sure, Lucas Duda has dealt with a couple of minor ailments this spring, but for the life of me, I cannot understand why everyone is so down on him.
Sure, I get it. 2016 was a lost year for Lucas. In only 153 at-bats, he hit 7 homers with 23 RBI. He hit just .229 with a .302 OBP. Worst of all, his .1 WAR isn’t going to cut it for a guy who’s supposed to be a force in the middle of the lineup.
Can we mark it down as a lost year? It’s not uncommon that guys have an off year and then rebound. Let’s take a step back and look at Lucas’ 2014 and 2015, shall we? He was a vital piece in getting the Mets to the World Series, but let’s just ditch him because of one bad season, right? Wrong.
2014 was Duda’s coming out party. In 514 at-bats, he hit 30 homers with 92 RBI. While his average (.253) was rather pedestrian, his .349 OBP was solid. In 2015, in 471 at-bats, Duda hit 27 homers with 73 RBI. The batting average dipped to .244, but the OBP increased to .352.
Little known fact: In 2014, Duda actually received MVP votes, according to Baseball Reference.
Call me crazy, but I am not ready to give up on Lucas Duda just yet. In fact, I think he has a lot more left in him. For all the naysayers out there, I hope this is the year Duda makes fools out of you and proves you wrong.