Watch out Fernando Martinez, there’s another corner outfielder who is gaining ground on your prospect mojo.
Lucas Duda received International League Offensive Player of the Week accolades last week after blasting five home runs in 23 AB’s. Duda finished the week with a .304/.433/1.000 clip at the plate for the week. Duda has 22 RBI and 23 total hits for AAA Buffalo since his promotion from Binghamton. Impressively, that promotion came on June 14th. The USC product only has 20 games at the AAA level under his belt.
The 24-year-old has made a splash onto the AAA scene, and has impressed scouts at all levels of the farm, but not so much with his power until now. Duda supplanted himself into the Buffalo record books by going yard in five consecutive games last week. After being drafted by the Mets in the 7th round of the 2007 draft, Duda has only tallied 24 home runs in his three full seasons of professional ball. Clearly, Duda is maturing at the plate and putting his 6’5 240 lb frame to good use.
Duda gave up his post at first base last season with hopes of breaking through in a corner outfield position. He does not cover ground as a gazelle would like Carlos Beltran or Angel Pagan, nor does he possess the throwing arm of a Jeff Francoeur. However, he is no Daniel Murphy in left field.
At 24, Lucas Duda seems to be a late bloomer at the AAA level. He will be an interesting name as trade talks continue to heat up over the course of the month. After reading different reports, it seems like his MLB projection is parallel with that of a DH/1B. Duda’s stock is high right now, but if he is not dealt it will be intriguing to see what kind of impact he can have on the organization in the future.