Lucas Duda is Seeing the Ball Well Right Now
Lucas Duda isn't exactly a walking quote machine.
Even at 6’4, 255, the New York Mets left fielder seems to have a knack for being a wallflower, even when his bat is doing the talking for him.
After hitting a pair of homers in support of the incomparable Matt Harvey, Duda finds himself in some unlikely spots: atop the NL leaderboard with a robust (and aesthetically pleasing) 1.234 OPS on April 20, and the subject of a post-game dugout interview with SNY’s Kevin Burkhardt.
"Sometimes you see the ball well, sometimes you don’t, and … right now I’m seeing the ball well,” Duda explained.
Not quite the most memorable, insightful quote ever, but extremely true.
In fact, Duda’s seeing the ball so well, he’s second in the majors behind Joey Votto with 12 walks (one ahead of teammate David Wright) and a .491 (!) OBP.
Duda is also second in the NL to Justin Upton in slugging percentage,
Fun with small sample size? Sure. It is only April 20. Duda’s only played in 14 games. It’s only 53 plate appearances. Not enough to prove much more than, “Lucas Duda is really locked-in at the plate right now.”
That said, it’s hard to dismiss just how well Duda is seeing the ball right now.
Through Friday night’s game, Duda had only swung at 12.7% of pitches out of the strike zone (O-Swing%), the lowest percentage in baseball. The MLB average, for what it’s worth, is 28.7%, and Duda’s career mark is 26.6%.
In other words, Duda really is seeing the ball extremely well right now. Better than anybody in baseball, in fact. His pitch recognition and plate discipline have made him one of the most efficient hitters in baseball in this young season.
Sometimes, you see the ball well. Sometimes you don’t. Right now, Lucas Duda is seeing the ball really, really well. Sure would be nice if he kept it going awhile.