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St. Lucie 3B Richard Lucas hit a game-winning home run last night, but it's been a tough year (.212/.288/.350) for the 21-year old.

The eight home runs are nice, but he has just four doubles, an almost shockingly small number for a guy who's played 62 games.  He's also struck out 74 times.  That's a lot.  I liked his strength and approach when  I saw him last year, but clearly, the jump to the FSL has been hard for him.

In some ways, Lucas is the poster-child for the old regime and their haphazard player movement at the lower levels necessitated by pushing so many teenagers to the SAL.  After a fine start to his pro career in the GCL in 2007, and seven games with Kingsport, the Mets pushed him to Savannah as a 19-year old in 2008.  It was a lost season: he hit .185/.252/.311 and tore up his knee as a Gnat when he should have spent the whole year as a K-Met.  Returned to Kingsport last year at age 20, he raked, going .357/.471/.622 in 26 games before struggling in the final two weeks at Brooklyn.  With Jefry Marte ticketed for a return engagement in Savannah, the Mets had to push Lucas to St. Lucie to get him at bats in a move one team official described as "almost unfair" to him.

I wonder where he would be now had he gone 07 - GCL, 08 - Kingsport (uninjured), 09 - Savannah (while Marte played in a short-season league) before reaching St. Lucie this year.

Tags: Daily Recap , Toby Hyde
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