5 Reasons Why Lucas Duda Should Be New York Mets’ First Baseman In 2014
5 Reasons Why Lucas Duda Should Be New York Mets' First Baseman In 2014
At the start of the offseason, it appeared likely that Lucas Duda would enter the 2014 season as the everyday first baseman for the New York Mets. The Mets made it clear that they would be aggressively shopping Ike Davis, leaving Duda as the likely choice to take over at first base. It appeared to be great news for Duda, who struggled to play the outfield for the past few seasons and longed to play first base, which is his natural position.
However, the Mets were never able to trade Davis, nor did they put much effort in trading away Duda to another team. The end result is that both Davis and Duda will be in Spring Training with the team, a situation that the Mets were hoping to avoid when the offseason began. The Mets will have several viable candidates competing for playing time at first base during Spring Training, but for all intents and purposes, the competition for the everyday job at first base will be a two-horse race between Davis and Duda.
This isn't exactly the situation Duda thought he would find himself in a few months ago, and he can't be pleased that he'll have to compete against Davis for the starting job. But if nothing else, Duda has the opportunity to win the job he covets. Davis will be tough to beat out, as there are reasons why he should be the Mets’ first baseman, but here are five reasons why Duda should be the Mets’ everyday first baseman in 2014.
5. His Days In The Outfield Should Be Over
Even though Terry Collins mentioned that Duda could see some time in the outfield, his days in the outfield should be over. The Mets signed two free agent outfielders this offseason and have four outfielders that could be everyday players for them. Moreover, Duda has proven to be a liability in the outfield defensively, so as long as he’s with the Mets, he'll either play first base or not play at all.
4. He's A Better Hitter While Playing First Base
Duda was briefly the Mets' everyday first baseman last year before being sidelined with an injury, and his performance at the plate during that time was night and day compared to the time he spent in the outfield. Duda was more comfortable and more confident at the plate in the games he played first base, as it put him more at ease mentally. If the Mets want Duda to be a productive offensive player, they have to play him at first base on a daily basis.
3. He Has Huge Power Potential
Duda has never hit more than 15 home runs in a major league season, but just by looking at him, it’s obvious that he’s capable of so much more. He has incredible strength, and he has the potential to be a 30-plus home run hitter on a yearly basis and the Mets want to make sure he’s in their lineup every day when he finally taps into all that power potential.
2. Something Is Better Than Nothing
Duda has struggled and underachieved in his major league career, but he’s never been as inept offensively as Ike Davis was last year. Playing Davis at first base this year would be a huge risk for the Mets, and while Duda doesn’t have quite as much potential as Davis, the Mets know that they're going to get something positive out of Duda, even if it’s not as much as they'd like and even if it’s not what they think he’s capable of doing, which is not something they can say about Davis.
1. All He Needs Is A Confidence Boost
Duda has proven himself to be psychologically fragile during his big league career, but if the Mets can get his confidence up, Duda can start to become a more productive offensive player. It must have been a blow to Duda’s confidence when it became apparent that Ike Davis was going to be with the Mets during Spring Training, but if the team were to give Duda the starting first base job, it would be a huge boost to his confidence, which may be all he needs to become the player the Mets need him to be.