When Lucas Duda makes contact with a baseball, it tends to go far. He has routinely put a charge on pitches this season, often forcing outfielders to retreat from their already strategically deepened positioning. That is, when Duda swings. The burly basher has swung at just 33.5 percent of the pitches he’s seen in 103 plate appearances this season, according to Fangraphs. It ranks as the second-lowest swing percentage in the majors, behind only Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis’ 32.9 percent. Duda is the preeminent example of the Mets’ organizational offensive philosophy of patience and power. The left fielder’s .417 on-base percentage was 11th in the majors entering play Saturday, when the Mets’ matchup against the Braves was postponed due to rain. His .538 slugging percentage ranked in the top 30. But his remarkable selectivity could also be detrimental on a team that relies on the slugger to drive in runs from the middle of the order. In 24 plate appearances with runners in scoring position this season, Duda has walked 33.3 percent of the time, tied for the highest rate in the league. But he has just two hits, both singles, and two runs batted in. He has struck out twice. His slugging percentage in those circumstances is just .133, the 12th-worst in the majors with runners in scoring position. "You don’t want to change a guy’s approach too much, but there’s certain times — his swing percentage on first pitch is like seven percent or something — I’d like to see him swing," Mets hitting coach Dave Hudgens said this week.
Duda's remarkable patience at the plate may also be detrimental for the Mets
NewJersey.com | May 5