My player projections continue around the outfield with…
Lucas Duda, RF
Lucas Duda appears to have the makings of a legitimate major league power hitter. Dave Hudgens, the Mets hitting coach, has compared him to a young Jason Giambi. GM Sandy Alderson tweeted that Duda will bring “OPS. High OBP and big power” to the lineup. And he has, by all reports, put on show after show in batting practice this Spring.
Duda has shown the ability to drive the ball to all fields, and bear down when behind in the count. After taking over in right field for the traded Carlos Beltran last July, he hit well over .300 with 10 home runs, while displaying good plate discipline for a rookie.
The biggest question mark for Duda is his defense. He had a -1.4 dWAR last year. But you don’t need a supercomputer to tell you that he needs work – all you have to do is look at the awkward way in which he approaches the ball. The Mets are committed to making him better, so much so that they replaced first base/outfield coach Mookie Wilson with Tom Goodwin, specifically to work with Duda.
As much as I’m tempted to project him at 40 HR, 100 RBI, he hasn’t had enough time in the majors for a true evaluation. It will be fun to see how Lucas progresses in 2012.
By popular demand, I’m adding OBP – I swear I didn’t look at FanGraphs’ OBP before I made my prediction.
Projection: .288, 24 HR, 82 RBI, .362 OBP
FanGraphs: .280, 21 HR, 81 RBI, .362 OBP
Next week: The starting rotation.