Hey, Debbie Downers: Lucas Duda Has Been Good

By: Brian Mangan

Just a quick hit today on the blog, as the Mets slowly spiral downward into oblivion for the fifth straight season:

Lucas Duda has been pretty good.

No matter where you turn, this month, Mets fans on the internet are complaining about something.  And with good reason.  The product on the field sucks.  The comments in the media suck.   The losses have been particularly gut wrenching.  But not everything is lost – not every player on the team must be covered in the stench of failure with the rest. 

I’m guilty of getting on Duda in the past.  I chastized him for failing to hit in the clutch, and I said that the Mets made a mistake keeping Duda over Ike Davis.  From time to time, I’m wrong.

The only thing worse than being wrong is failing to admit it, and here is a quick blurb about what a baller Duda has been this season, in particular since mid-May.

Lucas Duda’s season batting line is .248/.339/.460, which is good for an OPS of 799 and an OPS+ of 128 (OPS+ is adjusted for ballpark).  Ike Davis was traded on April 18, and from May 1 to the present Duda has batted .246/.342/.469 for an OPS of 810.  Yes, we are judging Duda after a particularly hot month (his OPS was 956 in June) but the proof is in the pudding here.

When it comes to offense, Duda has been valuable: he’s 13th in MLB in wRC (another way of measuring offense, preferred by fangraphs).  Maybe you prefer something more old school?  Duda’s only got 3 RBI less than Freddie Freeman — and has done so in 89 less plate appearances.

Lucas Duda’s Rank Among First Basemen

  • HR: t-15 (with 12 HR)
  • RBI: t-15th
  • BB%: 13th
  • SLG%: 13th

These raw values may be middle of the pack, but they are much more impressive considering a) Duda plays in an extreme pitchers’ park, b) bats in a subpar lineup and c) has about 80-100 less plate appearances than the guys who play every day.  He’s behind the guys you expect — the Goldschmidts, and Abreus, and Freemans and Cabreras — but compares favorably to the rest.

So when you go on your apoplectic rants — “The season is over! Fire Sandy! We are terrible at SS, LF, 1B, and C!” — take it easy on Lucas.  He’s been alright.  He hasn’t been a star, but he’s not the reason this season is down the tubes.

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Brian Mangan has a lot more to say about this, but the Mets don’t really deserve it right now.

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