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On television they call him Lebowski, but Mets fans should call him their next great hope. While David Wright has regressed to being just a solid player and Jose Reyes can’t stay healthy, the team is desperate for a bat to play the role they anticipated from Jason Bay.
Fortunately for them a player has stepped up. His name is Lucas Duda and he boasts a .279 average with seven home runs with 36 RBI. While those numbers are not the most impressive, if you take a look at what has occurred since the All-Star break it’s a different story: 7 HR, .321 average, with 24 RBI.
The best news is that Mets fans may have more power coming. Justin Turner has played with Duda in the Minor Leagues and he has seen with his own eyes what Duda is capable of, “You guys haven’t even seen him get hot yet… I played with him last year when he was unbelievable… when he starts hitting the ball over the fence, it comes in bunches, so we’re waiting to see that, it’s really fun to watch.”
At the moment, Duda has been splitting his time between first base and right field. Though he has offered decent defense at first base, his future will be at right-field once Ike Davis returns from injury. “I think wherever.. right field or first base… right field is a work in progress, but anywhere that is going to get me at bats.” The fact that the Mets will be able to pencil him in at right-field is a big lift for a team that will look to fill some holes after losing Carlos Beltran and Francisco Rodriguez in trades.
While there is some fear that Jose Reyes may be the next to leave Flushing, at least Mets fans know that the Duda abides. “As you play more as you get more at bats…, your confidence grows and I think it is growing right now,” says the red-hot Mets slugger.