Homeless Heroes: Lucas Duda

Duda Math, and you’ll find Lucas adds up
Photo Credit: UCinternational

The Mets, lovable losers that they are, feature a horde of homeless fantasy options on their roster. While we’d like to think of their ruffians as the charming cast of “Bum Fights,” the truth is that most of the Mets’ bums don’t have the likability or punch of those heralded gladiators. There is one man, however, who stands above the rest. A man whose broad shoulders can potentially help carry a fantasy team’s power numbers in the same manner in which he carries a stick with all of his worldly possessions tied to the end of it. That man is Lucas Duda.

I’ll admit a bit of bias here, as Duda was a favorite deep power sleeper of mine in the past. Uneven opportunities (as well as the squandering of those opportunities) has always kept him from breaking out. A skeptic can look at the circumstances this year and quickly dismiss his odds of finding glory. After all, he’s stuck in a first base platoon with not one, but two underwhelming players (Ike Davis and Josh Satin). Thus far, he’s had just six at-bats against left-handed pitching, and he figures (at least in the beginning) to sit on the bench whenever the Mets draw a southpaw. Oh yeah, he also has been a fantasy non-factor during his time in the majors. The playing time concerns and past failures are not to be ignored, but look beyond them and you might like what you see.

Duda has always shown raw power potential. He owns a solid career .180 Isolated Power (ISO) in the majors despite being very underwhelming overall while in the big show. In the minor leagues, he showed a lot of promise by posting a .265 ISO in 2010 (his last year in which he played mostly in the minors, before being a struggling major leaguer). You could say that these fleeting shimmers of power are just that, but what if his 2014 production to date is a sign of things to come? With a .250 ISO and 27.3 Home Run to Fly Ball Ratio (HR/FB) in 39 PAs so far, he’s looking like a guy who is ready to take the next step (cue the sample size nerd alarm). Let’s face it, the Mets need all the offense they can get, so if Duda is able to provide consistent power, he’ll force his way into regular playing time.

Yes his home park tends to suffocate power and the playing time questions are legit to ponder on. That said, in a league lacking a ton of power bats, what’s the harm in taking a stab at Duda in fantasy? Fortunately, unlike most homeless people, he probably isn’t carrying a knife (or a fork, or whatever utensils the homeless use to carry out violence), so his odds of stabbing you back are likely limited. If you pick him up and he sucks, his ass goes back to the streets. However, if you need some pop at 1B, CI, or the OF and he starts to come through, well, then you may have yourself a nifty little power grab.


About Starbonell

Starbonell is the co-founder of Sons of Roto and one of the most insightful and colorful fantasy analysts in the game. Mixing intelligent and well-researched advice with an entertaining style of writing that is easy to digest, Starbonell is the king of info-tainment.