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Duda day impresses Terry Collins

3/1/2014

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Two days into the Grapefruit League schedule, Lucas Duda already has a number of hard-hit balls.

Lucas Duda

Lucas Duda

#21 1B
New York Mets

2013 STATS

  • GM100
  • HR15

  • RBI33

  • R42

  • OBP.352

  • AVG.223

On Friday as DH, Duda flashed his strength with a broken-bat ground-rule double and also was robbed of a hit by diving Washington Nationals center fielder Eury Perez. On Saturday, Duda started at first base and crushed a fourth-inning homer against Arquimedes Caminero for the Mets’ lone run in a 9-1 loss to the Miami Marlins.

Duda finished 1-for-3 and committed an error dropping a grounder trying to pull it out of his glove on a potential double play.

The homer was a no-doubter in his mind on a fastball up in the zone.

“I hit it pretty well,” Duda said.

Duda arrived at camp last year having suffered a fractured right wrist during that offseason moving furniture into a new apartment. He then hit only .223 with 15 homers in 318 at-bats during the regular season. He was demoted during the summer to Triple-A Las Vegas.

Terry Collins asserted again Saturday that the offseason wrist injury likely affected Duda’s 2013 performance.

“More than he let on, I’m sure,” Collins said. “... I think there were some ramifications all summer long. I don’t know if he ever really felt comfortable, because certainly we know he can hit.

“I really think if you look at the job that he did at that [fitness] camp this winter, he’s lighter, yet stronger. And I think the strength has made a difference in his hands and his wrist.”