Is Lucas Duda being too patient at the plate?

Lucas Duda 1 polaroidIn a report for the Star Ledger, Jorge Castillo explores Lucas Duda’s work at the plate so far this season, and wonders if his patience is either a benefit or a detriment to the Mets.

“Duda is the preeminent example of the Mets’ organizational offensive philosophy of patience and power,” Castillo writes. “But his remarkable selectivity could also be detrimental on a team that relies on the slugger to drive in runs from the middle of the order.”

Duda is hitting .250 with a .417 OBP and .955 OPS, six home runs and nine RBI with 21 walks and 27 strikeouts in 103 plate appearances of 26 games.

“You don’t want to change a guy’s approach too much, but there’s certain times — his swing percentage on first pitch is like seven percent or something — I’d like to see him swing,” Dave Hudgens said, according to Castillo.

Duda owns a 20.4 percent walk rate, and is swinging at only 19.1 percent of pitches outside the strike zone and 33.5 percent of pitches overall.

Michael Baron, Contributor

It’s an interesting debate. Duda is a big guy with a ton of power, and ideally he should be attacking strikes in the middle of the plate and in. Instead, he often takes those pitches, works deep counts, and draws walks instead. His on-base percentage is fantastic, and his OPS is impressive as well, but it seems that with this approach, he’s still a step away from becoming the hitter he is expected to be. I admire his patience and selectivity, and his ability to differentiate between the two, but as Hudgens points out, he’s going to have to start attacking those pitches more often, even if it means working a shorter count. That could be the next step in this process for Duda, and that’s fine, because he’s clearly still discovering what his hitting identity is.