Has Lucas Duda Finally Figured It Out?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Mets’ have long waited for Lucas Duda to figure it out and emerge as the power threat in the middle of their lineup.  Suddenly he appears to be there, at least so it seems.

Hitting .261 with 15 HR and 50 RBI over 299 AB (through Tuesday), he’s been even better since the calendar turned to June:

  • June – .282/.380/.576
  • July – .298/.403/.544

He has 15 doubles and 8 HR in 142 AB over that span, and also has seen his line drive rate increase significantly (20.6% and 26.2%) and his strikeouts decrease (18.0% and 22.4%).  It has all come together into the perfect package, and one fantasy owners would love to own from any player.

There is no question that he is producing like a must own fantasy option, but is it possible for him to develop into a full-time player or is he destined to be a platoon option?  He’s had just 54 AB against southpaws this season, hitting just .167 with 1 HR (.282 with 14 HR against RHP).

The problem is against anything but hard pitches:

  • Hard – .267
  • Breaking – .046
  • Offspeed – .000

Of course, since June 1 (when he’s been impressive overall), the numbers against LHP are even worse:

  • Hard – .235
  • Breaking – .000
  • Offspeed – .000

So what does it all mean?  When the Mets have a slew of right-handed pitching on the schedule he is a player that should definitely be in your lineup.  If they have a few left-handers?  Then you likely want to bench him because, even while he’s going well, he simply can’t figure out how to hit them.

If he can start hitting lefties at even a respectable rate, Duda has the makings of a viable fantasy option in all formats.  Until then, he’s likely destined to be a platoon player both in real life and for fantasy owners.

Sources – Fangraphs, Brooks Baseball

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