Lucas Duda
Lucas Duda
32-Year-Old First Baseman1B
Atlanta Braves
2018 Fantasy Outlook
For the third season in a row, Duda spent time on the disabled list, missing about a month of action with a hyperextended elbow after back problems cost him large chunks of 2015 and 2016. Now 32 years old, Duda's health may be a recurring issue from here on out, but there's no doubting that he's still a serviceable power bat. In just 491 plate appearances split between the Mets and Rays last season, Duda hit 30 long balls, the second time in his career he's reached that benchmark. Duda offers more value in formats that count OBP as a category rather than batting average, but since he's typically out of the lineup against lefties, the impact of the batting-average drain isn't felt as acutely as it might be for other mashers fitting a similar "Three True Outcomes" profile. Assuming he settles into the strong side of a platoon at first base or designated hitter with some team, Duda should make for a decent endgame target for fantasy squads needing a power boost. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a one-year, $3.5 million contract with the Royals in February of 2018. Traded to the Braves in August of 2018.
Pinch-hit homer
1BAtlanta Braves
September 9, 2018
Duda hit a pinch-hit, solo home run Sunday against the Diamondbacks.
Duda took Yoan Lopez deep in the ninth inning to hit his first home run as a member of the Braves. He has appeared only as a pinch hitter, clearly behind Freddie Freeman on the depth chart. As a result, his value is limited to the deepest of leagues.
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Batting Stats
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Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2016
Since 2016vs Left .572 245 21 8 33 0 .177 .245 .327
Since 2016vs Right .829 778 84 43 103 1 .243 .335 .493
2018vs Left .513 102 7 2 14 0 .180 .255 .258
2018vs Right .804 258 28 12 35 1 .261 .329 .474
2017vs Left .658 111 10 5 14 0 .188 .252 .406
2017vs Right .867 380 40 25 50 0 .227 .342 .525
2016vs Left .454 32 4 1 5 0 .133 .188 .267
2016vs Right .776 140 16 6 18 0 .252 .329 .447
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2016
OPS at Home
OPS at Home
OPS on Road
OPS at Home
Since 2016Home .796 482 55 26 70 0 .242 .322 .474
Since 2016Away .740 541 50 25 66 1 .213 .307 .433
2018Home .820 166 19 7 28 0 .288 .343 .477
2018Away .637 194 16 7 21 1 .194 .278 .359
2017Home .781 248 24 15 35 0 .212 .306 .475
2017Away .857 243 26 15 29 0 .223 .337 .519
2016Home .790 68 12 4 7 0 .233 .324 .467
2016Away .665 104 8 3 16 0 .226 .288 .376
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Stat Review
How does Lucas Duda compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances). The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
What first appeared to be a balky back ended up costing Duda nearly four months of 2016 season. The veteran first baseman was off to a slow start, slashing .231/.297/.431 with seven homers when he was placed on the DL on May 20. Duda returned on Sept. 20, hitting just .217 with no homers in 23 at-bats the rest of the way. While the sample of games Duda played in 2016 is too small to alter his performance baseline, it's imperative to note the veteran missed time the last week of the season due to a sore back and was not active for the Mets' wild card tilt. So, what we have is a power-hitting first baseman who's a batting average liability on the wrong side of 30 years old, coming off a severe back injury that was still bothersome after missing four months or action. If healthy, Duda still has the pop to hit 30 homers but the injury risk means it's best to earmark him for a corner or utility spot, with a backup on reserve.
It was another season of peaks and valleys for Duda, but the final numbers look remarkably similar to those from 2014. Despite hitting below .190 in two separate months, Duda saw his batting average fall only nine points from the previous season, and he led the team in home runs for a second straight year. He also improved upon his already stellar on-base percentage in his age-29 season, maintaining a walk rate right around 12 percent, good for 17th among all qualified hitters in Major League Baseball (ninth in the NL). The strikeouts were up slightly, but he made more consistent contact than he did in 2013 or 2014 — his 76.9% contact rate was below average, but respectable for a player with Duda's power. While he can be a frustrating player to own in fantasy given his streaky tendencies, Duda is a perennial 30-homer threat and his spot in the middle of the lineup is secure.
Finally removed from the shadow of Ike Davis at first base and no longer miscast as an outfielder, Duda had a breakout campaign in 2014. There's little reason to believe he'll ever be able to hit left-handed pitching (32.8 K%, .516 OPS v. LHP last season), but his numbers against righties were elite (.915 OPS) and he showed power to all fields last season after previously being a predominantly pull hitter. The power potential has always been there with Duda, and his first 30-homer season wasn't simply the result of a spike to his HR/FB rate (16.0% in 2014, compared to a 13.5% career mark). If he can maintain the progress that he made with former hitting coach Lamar Johnson, Duda should be primed for another big year in the heart of the Mets' lineup in his age-29 campaign.
Duda opened the season as the Mets' starting left fielder, but proved unable to handle the task defensively while providing less production than expected at the plate by hitting .235 with 11 homers and 23 RBI through mid-June. He was shifted to first base when Ike Davis was demoted, but after just a few days there, a quad injury sidelined him until late August. Duda had four home runs and 13 RBI in September, but hit just .202 for the month. His future value hinges on whether he or Davis is dealt, as Duda has shown he can't play the outfield. Additionally, he continues to struggle against lefties, and now has a career .224/.302/.341 line against them in the big leagues.
Duda was counted on to provide power to the Mets after his solid 2012 season, but he seemingly struggled throughout the year. Those struggles became even more magnified after the All-Star break, where he hit just .214 with three homers and 13 RBI in 112 at-bats after having a decent first half (.249, 12 homers, 44 RBI). Those second-half struggles landed Duda in the minors, but he was recalled after a month in Triple-A. Duda fractured his right wrist moving furniture this offseason, but he is expected to be ready with no restrictions for spring training. The big question is: can Duda adapt to the outfield and not take his defensive problems to the plate?
The last three months of the year Duda made the most of the opportunity opened up by the injury to Ike Davis and trade of Carlos Beltran. Duda hit all 10 of his home runs and drove in 41 of his 50 runs in that stretch, showing power to center and right field, though all of his long balls came against righties. The only negative was that Duda suffered a concussion running into the fence in St. Louis on September 21, missing the last week of the season, but his headaches cleared up in late October and he is feeling healthy. Duda is penciled in as the starting right fielder and should bat fifth for the Mets.
Duda, a seventh-round pick out of USC in 2007, had a breakout season, hitting a career-high 23 home runs between Double-A Binghamton and Triple-A Buffalo, with a .999 OPS in 264 at-bats for the latter affiliate. He struggled mightily his first few weeks in the majors before having a big last two weeks. Duda also has a good eye at the plate, walking in more than 10 percent of his plate appearances at every minor league stop. His best position may be first base, but with Ike Davis entrenched there Duda will head to spring training with a shot at earning the fourth outfielder spot in New York.
More Fantasy News
Dealt to Atlanta
1BAtlanta Braves
August 29, 2018
Duda was traded from the Royals to the Braves in exchange for cash, Jeffrey Flanagan of reports.
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On bench against lefty
1BKansas City Royals
August 28, 2018
Duda is not in the lineup Tuesday against the Tigers, Jeffrey Flanagan of reports.
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Launches 12th home run
1BKansas City Royals
August 25, 2018
Duda went 3-for-4 with a solo home run and three runs scored Saturday against the Indians.
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Takes seat in series finale
1BKansas City Royals
August 19, 2018
Duda is out of the lineup Sunday against the White Sox, Joel Goldberg of FOX Sports Kansas City reports.
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Hits solo shot
1BKansas City Royals
August 17, 2018
Duda went 1-for-4 with a solo homer in Thursday's win over the Blue Jays.
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