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Lucas Duda at DH

Posted by MaxOelerking , 20 December 2017 · 1,315 views

lucas duda power free agent
Lucas Duda at DH Last year at DH for the Twins looked like this:

Robbie Grossman 257 39 .336 .398 .320
Kennys Vargas 129 17 .310 .425 .313
Miguel Sano 100 7 .300 .267 .254
Eduardo Escobar 74 7 .297 .424 .308
Joe Mauer 57 8 .386 .347 .331
Mitch Garver 12 1 .417 .500 .391
Total 629 79 .326 .384 .309

Last year at the plate for Lucas Duda:

Lucas Duda 491 50 .322 .496 .341

The 31 year old played 792 innings last season at 1B for the Mets and Rays.

Defensive metrics show he's similar to a Chris Davis or Matt Carpenter, but that is not what the Twins need since Joe Mauer is one of the top defensive 1B in the MLB.

Here is my pitch for why the Twins should sign Duda:

1. Power (since 2015)
Player SLG ISO XBH/100 HARD%
Lucas Duda .479 .248 12.6 39.2%
Eric Hosmer .463 .169 9.02 32.2%
Chris Davis .486 .252 11.2 41.0%

Duda has great power numbers comparable to some of the better 1B power bats over the past few seasons, being in the AL where he can DH will definitely boost his numbers since he can take more at-bats.

2. Age
At 31, Duda is no spring chicken, but 1B has been on of the most forgiving positions as players age.

Other 31 year-old 1B numbers:
Player Year ISO OBP SLG wOBA
Mike Napoli 2013 .223 .360 .482 .367
Jim Thome 2002 .373 .445 .677 .461
Edwin Encarnacion 2014 .279 .354 .547 .389
Justin Morneau 2012 .149 .333 .440 .330

3. Cost
As far as contracts go, the high end Duda would go for is 1-2 years, $10M per season. A lot depends on how the free agent market changes during the off season. If the Twins can sign a defensive catcher in Castro for $8M per, they should be able to spend around the same amount for a power bat, if not more.

4. Ballpark
How exciting would it be to see Duda driving balls out over the RF porch onto the concourse? As a lefty, Duda's swing would work perfect at Target Field. He hits 30.3% to CF and 46.2% to RF. 42.1% of his batted balls are hit hard, while less than 20% are hit soft. This combination of hard hit balls being hit to to the right side of the field is a lethal combination at Target Field. Click herefor an image of every 2017 Lucas Duda home run with the Target Field dimensions overlaid.

The Twins could use Duda as a DH and reliable 1B replacement for Mauer. He would thrive in Target Field and would produce extra pop in the middle of the Twins lineup. I'm a huge Eduardo Escobar fan, and I would love to see him be a key piece for the Twins as well. I believe signing Duda would allow for Escobar to be a full-time utility man at 3B/SS/2B/

My projections:
450 47 .345 .485
500 51 .343 .488
550 64 .340 .490
600 75 .337 .492
650 76 .335 .486
700 81 .333 .482

My 2018 lineup:
1. Dozier 2B
2. Mauer 1B
3. Sano 3B
4. Rosario LF
5. Duda DH
6. Polanco SS
7. Buxton CF
8. Kepler RF
9. Castro C

Thanks for reading and please leave a comment if you agree/disagree with anything.

  • nicksaviking and Oldgoat_MN like this

Agree with everything here and be would be an exciting addition, to be sure. Obviously, is inclusion would make a trade of some sort for Vargas.

The problem with this is not just the dollars involved, ie can they afford him when they still need at least one big time SP and very possibly another bullpen arm, but roster fit. Smokescreen or not the Twins have stated they don't feel the need for a full time DH in order to roll Mauer, Sano, Escobar, Vargas, Grossman and anyone from the OF and the such taking a half day off. And while no-one is saying anything negative, there has to be at least some concern regarding Sano's health.

But I do like that lineup!

Side note: I keep wondering where Polanco fits best in the lineup. If we see the same hitter he was the second half, does he continue to hit 3rd and bump everyone down? Does he hit in one of the first two spots with Mauer and bump Dozier down? Should he hit 9th to flip the order?
Dec 21 2017 06:25 AM
'Dude', this would be cool I just don't see it happening. Also, if it does happen that most likely means no starting pitcher of significance was signed so that would be a bummer. I would like to yell "DUDE" at Target Field every time Duda came to the plate, though.
Tom Froemming
Dec 21 2017 08:25 AM

Good piece. Whoever gets Duda is probably going to get a solid value, but I'm not sure he's the best fit for the Twins due to his trouble with lefties. He's a career .218/.289/.370 hitter against LHP. The Twins ranked fifth in wOBA vs. RHP (.332), but were 14th vs. LHP (.320).


Maybe that doesn't matter.


It looks like right now the rest of the AL Central pitching staffs are very right-handed heavy. Cleveland doesn't have a single southpaw projected to be in their rotation. Danny Duffy and Matt Boyd may be the two best LHPs in the division, unless there's somebody I'm forgetting. Each team is going to be able to matchup with their bullpens, of course, but you can always pinch hit for Duda if say he's due to face Andrew Miller or something. 


With all that in mind, I'd definitely much rather prefer Duda to Mike Napoli, who the Twins have been linked to this offseason.

    • gil4, nicksaviking, Oldgoat_MN and 1 other like this

An interesting, creative idea! Duda has never been one of those "wow" players that you get excited about, but as your stats you posted show, he's capable of putting up some very respectable numbers. He's certainly much young than Napoli, and less injury prone too. But as someone else noted, he doesn't seem to be the right fit for what the Twins need next season. Plus, theyjust signed Brock Stassi to a minor league contract, and he's a guy who is very good with the glove at first base if the Twins are looking for a backup at some point.


With all that in mind, I'd definitely much rather prefer Duda to Mike Napoli, who the Twins have been linked to this offseason.

I went to click like after reading that, but I had already done it earlier - we need a double-like option. I'm not that interested in Duda because I don't think he's a great fit, but I have less interest in Napoli because I think he's done.


Dec 28 2017 08:21 AM

Interesting idea. I don't tend to like signing left-handed hitters as Target Field is much more friendly to righties, but the market for corner bats is just so non-existent now, there are going to be some 1B-types that go for a song, Duda might be one of them.


I'd certainly stay away from low-ceiling guys like Napoli while guys like Duda are still out there getting no hits.

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