I officially have a man crush on Lucas Duda. It has taken me about 18 months, since his 2010 September call up, to first realize his full potential, just as it has for the rest of us in the world of Mets fandom.
The soft spoken Duda did well for himself when given the chance for regular playing time during the 2011 campaign. He exhibited the capability to be a starting player with middle of the order type pop. There was a lot of buzz coming from Port St. Lucie about Duda this spring and he received tepid national attention when he was picked by many experts to be one of the top fantasy baseball sleepers. I was certainly caught up in the hype throughout the spring.
Then came Saturday, Game 2 of the 2012 season and Duda mashed not one, but two home runs. Dudelirium set in at that point. I am captivated by his every at bat. Not since Mike Piazza can I remember feeling the raw potential for every at bat to result in a 430 foot bomb or a LASER down the line that I do not want to miss.
The thing that really excites me about Duda is his ability to hit the ball to all fields. He is not simply a one trick pony with a power bat. He can take the ball the other way and he seems to understand how pitchers are trying to throw to him and make adjustments. He also hits lefties well. I can easily see Duda hitting 30 bombs this season and batting a reasonable .285 while driving in 90-100 runs or more.
I am trying to temper my excitement and expectations, but finding it hard to do so at the moment.
Exhibit A of my Dudelirium: I already purchased a Duda Blue Batting Practice Jersey.
Exhibit B: My new cell phone and computer wallpaper.
Dudelirium is in full swing in this corner of Mets fandom and it is only a matter of time until it sweeps the entire city. I just hope the mild mannered power hitter can handle that type of attention on this stage.