Hudgens intends to work on Duda taking the same swings in games as he does in the cage, Puma explains.
“David Wright looks the same in the cage as he does during the game and Ike Davis is the same way,” Hudgens told Puma. “With Lucas, it’s a little bit different. He’s a little calmer in the cage, and then he gets in the game, probably the adrenaline and the emotion of the game, he gets wound up and going 100 mph.”
In 121 games with the Mets last season, Duda hit .239 with a .329 OBP and .719 OPS, 15 home runs and 57 RBI with 51 walks and 120 strikeouts in 401 at-bats.
Coming out of camp last Spring, I thought Duda was in for a big year. He looked so comfortable and relaxed in March, but it just did not translate when the bell rang in April. At times, he looked confused - especially against breaking balls - and he was a singles hitter against left-handed pitching all year. He's a big guy and he does have a lot of power, so hopefully he can put it together and gain some confidence this Spring. The Mets are going to need him to be more productive, especially if Sandy makes only a modest upgrade in the outfield.
The outfield is a joke. I'm sure Alderson made efforts to improve it, and I'm sure he's still working on it and might still pull a miracle. But, so far, the results have been disappointing... and based on his interview yesterday with WFAN, it seems he agrees. What's more sad is that by simply removing Jason Bay, yet bringing back everyone else, the outfield will likely be more productive then it was in 2012. However, Duda can go a long way in making it acceptable.
This season, I believe Duda is capable of hitting 25 home runs, maybe more, if he can cut down on his strikeouts and hit more fly balls. It reads simple, but at his age it will require work. So, I like hearing about him getting to camp early and getting more swings. He needs it. Frankly, as rough as his fielding can be, it can be justified if he picks up his power.