Lucas Duda’s pre-swing hitch is noticeably absent now

Michael Baron , Contributor

Last week in a report for the Star Ledger, Jorge Castillo says Mets hitting coach Dave Hudgens is working closely with Lucas Duda on eliminating movement while in the batters box prior to the pitch being delivered.

During morning workouts this morning, Duda took a light session of batting practice, and while the hitch was apparent when I arrived here last week, it is noticeably absent when he swings the bat now.

Lucas Duda slice

“I’m working to simplify things, and not be so busy at the plate,” Duda told me.

It all looks great now, and Duda put on an impressive display during his batting practice session. There is a lot less movement as he prepares to swing, and it does in fact look shorter.

But, this is batting practice. It remains to be seen if this can translate into real situations.

I do believe Duda still has the tools to be a successful. He’s a big guy, and when he squares up on the ball, he makes loud contact. Duda’s not that young anymore by baseball terms, so it’s going to be difficult for Hudgens to get Duda to not only adapt, but get him to stay consistent with this approach. He struggled a lot on breaking balls last year and he took a lot of hittable pitches for strikes, which got him into a lot of unfavorable counts. If he can improve in those areas, his strikeouts should diminish and he should be more of a consistent offensive presence. Being less animated can only help him, and the Mets need him to take every step possible to be a consistent, middle-of-the-order presence right now.