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Monday, May 05, 2014

Carig: Metrics say Lucas Duda hits hard; now all he needs is confidence

Exit Speed Scientific Schooling.

Lucas Duda hit the longest homer at Citi Field this season, a majestic shot that sailed toward the faraway Shea Bridge.

Like most events that unfold on a baseball field, the home run was measured precisely, categorized and archived for future reference. The record shows that the pitch was a sinker that didn’t sink, an 89-mph mistake that traveled 431 feet.

Yet even in this age of information, much of it remains shielded from public view. And in the case of Duda, this hidden data may provide the best explanation of why he’s been given the chance to thrive as the Mets’ first baseman.

“In some other measurements that we have, we felt that there was an edge there,” general manager Sandy Alderson said.

For Duda, that edge involves his freakish knack for making hard contact.

According to metrics used internally by the Mets, the ball that Duda hit for his towering home run left the barrel of his bat at 109 mph. It’s one of the fastest readings recorded this season.

Based on those same measures, Duda has ranked among the best in the game when it comes to the velocity of the ball off his bat, known as “exit speed.”

Repoz Posted: May 05, 2014 at 09:08 AM | 29 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mets, sabermetrics

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   1. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 05, 2014 at 09:17 AM (#4700211)
We're a little over two weeks in at this point, and I'm already tired of the Ike Davis experience.
   2. SoCalDemon Posted: May 05, 2014 at 09:23 AM (#4700212)
I can't track down the Ike Davis thread, but as an update, he now has an 85 OPS+. Now, this is a SSS, but he is now up to his last 450 PA with an 89 OPS+. I would still use his career 111 OPS+ if I had to pick between the two, but I think the emergence of Ike Davis the superbeast might have been a little hasty.
   3. Mark S. is bored Posted: May 05, 2014 at 10:36 AM (#4700252)
I can't track down the Ike Davis thread, but as an update, he now has an 85 OPS+. Now, this is a SSS, but he is now up to his last 450 PA with an 89 OPS+. I would still use his career 111 OPS+ if I had to pick between the two, but I think the emergence of Ike Davis the superbeast might have been a little hasty.
You can have it both ways. Davis had an 114 OPS+ as a Met and a 68 OPS+ as a Pirate. Pick your SSS to meet your needs.
   4. thetailor (Brian) Posted: May 05, 2014 at 02:48 PM (#4700523)
I will cop to being one of the guys that would rather, gun to my head, have kept Davis over Duda.

But Duda has looked very good in the last two weeks, and I haven't seen Davis. But he's hitting .190 as a Pirate. Only striking out 19.5% of the time, with a .224 BABIP, but no idea how he's looked. 14.3% walks.

Does he look tentative? He's got a spectacular eye (18.9% O-Swing) but his overall swing % is low too. Low swinging strike % but all these numbers point to a guy wimpily putting bat on ball. Any corroboration?
   5. Walt Davis Posted: May 05, 2014 at 05:27 PM (#4700636)
For on-contact, he's at 361/621. 361 is pretty good, 621 is pretty pedestrian ... well, certainly not power elite. He's doing a bit better this year but not enough to think he's changed. His G/F is right about where it should be but his BABIP, HR/FB, LD% are nothing special. He Ks too much to have major success with these sorts of numbers but at least he's got a decent walk rate to help.

Maybe he does crush it when he really gets ahold of one but there's nothing in his numbers to suggest he hits it with authority -- it's not resulting in a lot of HR, it's not resulting in a lot of LDs and hence not a killer BABIP. And of course he's often not making contact at all.

Nothing wrong with that, can keep going along at a 115 OPS+ give or take, but the guy is 28, there's no bright future where his raw tools are finally refined.

I'll grant that I haven't park-adjusted any of those numbers, maybe it's really good for Citi. But it still doesn't flow through to a good OPS+ which is adjusted.
   6. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 05, 2014 at 05:30 PM (#4700640)
Subjectively, it seems like he swung really well on his first day or two with the team and has done absolutely nothing sense.
   7. Mark S. is bored Posted: May 05, 2014 at 05:39 PM (#4700645)
Subjectively, it seems like he swung really well on his first day or two with the team and has done absolutely nothing sense.


It's more than just subjective:

First 3 games as a Pirate: .385/.429/.692 in 14 PA (.500 BABIP)
Next 11 games as a Pirate: .103/.212/.138 in 33 PA (.136 BABIP)
   8. PASTE Transcends Almost All Generations (Zeth) Posted: May 05, 2014 at 05:48 PM (#4700652)
Well, just have someone bring it to Duda's attention that he hits the ball hard. Then his confidence will increase. Problem solved!

I'm not optimistic that anything fixable is wrong with Ike Davis. That was my opinion at the time of the trade and obviously remains so now.
   9. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 05, 2014 at 05:49 PM (#4700654)
I'm not optimistic that anything fixable is wrong with Ike Davis.


Maybe he could switch passports with Alex Cabrera?
   10. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: May 05, 2014 at 06:59 PM (#4700693)
Nothing wrong with that, can keep going along at a 115 OPS+ give or take, but the guy is 28, there's no bright future where his raw tools are finally refined.


The 1998 Binghamton Mets had
22 year old Nick Evans hitting .311/.365/.561
22 year old Mike Carp hitting .299/.403/.471
23 year old Dan Murphy hitting .308/.374/.496, and
19 year old Fernando Martinez hitting: .287/.340/.432
(Duda was a 22 year old in A ball hitting .263/.358/.398)
the only ones the Mets talked about as prospects (or at all) were FMart and Evans- who have had, by far, less success than the others

   11. Adam Starblind Posted: May 05, 2014 at 08:31 PM (#4700755)

I'll grant that I haven't park-adjusted any of those numbers, maybe it's really good for Citi. But it still doesn't flow through to a good OPS+ which is adjusted.


We'll see. So far this year his OPS+ is 131, which is very good in a sss.
   12. Walt Davis Posted: May 05, 2014 at 09:35 PM (#4700795)
We'll see. So far this year his OPS+ is 131, which is very good in a sss.

And if you take away 1 HR, he loses 10 points of BA and 42 points of SLG which would take him down to a 117.

Or if you prefer, on May 3 his OPS+ was 117, on May 4 it was 131.


   13. Adam Starblind Posted: May 05, 2014 at 10:21 PM (#4700827)
And if my aunt had a dickandballs, she'd be my uncle.
   14. donlock Posted: May 06, 2014 at 09:32 AM (#4700995)
Success builds confidence, not the other way around. Alas.
   15. PreservedFish Posted: May 06, 2014 at 10:24 AM (#4701035)
the only ones the Mets talked about as prospects (or at all) were FMart and Evans- who have had, by far, less success than the others


This is not my memory at all. FMart was of course known as the best prospect of the bunch, but Evans did not get more love than Murphy or Carp did.
   16. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: May 06, 2014 at 10:51 AM (#4701060)
This is not my memory at all. FMart was of course known as the best prospect of the bunch, but Evans did not get more love than Murphy or Carp did.


No way, there was no discussion of Murphy until he was promoted to the big club, there was no discussion of Carp from the club or MSM members close to the club ever (he was mentioned once or twice as someone who was vaguely interesting by BPRo and Sickels, Evans OTOH was talked about before he reached the show, not gushingly the way FMart was of course, but he was mentioned.

Murphy was talked up by Bernazard after he was promoted.

Aside from FMart, prior to any MLB call-ups, Evans was the only one listed in #10 that the Mets' announcers ever so much as mentioned as existing - and the announcers certainly got their talking points from the club.
   17. Conor Posted: May 06, 2014 at 11:07 AM (#4701082)
My vague remembrance of the time (can't believe it was 6 years ago) was that at least to me, Evans/Carp/Murphy were all kind of grouped together as guys who didn't seem to have a great pedigree but were putting up pretty good numbers in the minors.
It is kind of amazing to me how Murphy came up and was such a patient hitter at the end of 2008, and ever since then, saw his walk rate cut nearly in half and has consistently been there for 5 years. Never would have thought he would have been a 5% walk guy after 2008.
   18. PreservedFish Posted: May 06, 2014 at 11:30 AM (#4701121)
Aside from FMart, prior to any MLB call-ups, Evans was the only one listed in #10 that the Mets' announcers ever so much as mentioned as existing - and the announcers certainly got their talking points from the club.


FMart was on another planet in terms of prospect status.

Evans may have been barely ahead of Carp, but it was a narrow difference. Carp was always very much discussed as a prospect by Mets fans, as much as Evans was, probably. There's no good reason to draw a distinction between the two of them.

Murphy is a different case, he's one of these guys that will always look underrated in hindsight because his progress as a prospect happened in a way that could not be captured by the end of season ranking lists. Nobody knew who he was at the end of 2007, and at the end of 2008 he had already lost his rookie status. The publishing schedule of Baseballs America, Prospectus etc guarantees that we never got a good consensus look at him at his height as a prospect. It was over with too quickly.
   19. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: May 06, 2014 at 01:52 PM (#4701262)
Carp was always very much discussed as a prospect by Mets fans


By Mets FANS not by the Mets or anyone close to the club.
   20. Adam Starblind Posted: May 06, 2014 at 02:25 PM (#4701295)
Is Fartinez out of baseball?
   21. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 06, 2014 at 02:31 PM (#4701304)
Is Fartinez out of baseball?


He played winter ball, but hasn't signed with a team yet this year.

I suspect he'll show up somewhere at some point, even if it's not in affiliated ball.
   22. Lassus Posted: May 06, 2014 at 02:45 PM (#4701318)
As long as we're talking, has anyone been paying attention to how Puello is doing?
   23. formerly dp Posted: May 06, 2014 at 02:54 PM (#4701330)
By Mets FANS not by the Mets or anyone close to the club.
This fits with my recollection as well. I'm a little surprised Evans didn't end up having a career as a lefty masher. Carp's turned out a bit better than I think was expected; what we can say for sure is that no one expected Murphy to fail in LF and later become passable at 2B. As Conor said in #17, the sharp dropoff in walk rate's been surprising, and he's on pace to have the same season in 2014 he had last year.

In other news...Tejada's just about played himself out of a job. That .315 OBP, propped up by 5 IBB. They should give Flores a month-long audition, and then just go ahead and sign Drew if he's not working out.
   24. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: May 06, 2014 at 03:02 PM (#4701346)
As long as we're talking, has anyone been paying attention to how Puello is doing?


he's turned back into the pre-PEDs version

2013's #1, Domonic Smith, isn't hitting
2012's # 1, Gavin Cecchini, is starting to show some sign of life,.274/.346/.398 (hey it's better than league)
2012's other # 1, Kevin Plawecki, is having a meh year so far
2011's #1, Finding Nimmo, is raking in the FSL, .363/.507/.478 (still not really showing any power though)
2011's other #1 has been getting lit up in the FSL...

Steve Matz their top pick 5 years ago is finally eligible for the ERA title (took him this long to clear 162 total IP- and he's a starter)- his arm has fallen off and been re-attached several times and he hasn't yet turned 23, but he's got a 183/63 k/bb in his 164 total innings with an ERA of 2.30, and he's finally made the FSL 5 years after being drafted...

Ordinarily if it takes 5 years to reach the FSL, that "proespect" tag has long since fallen away, but dammned if he doesn't look like a legitimate prospect. (he's no Yusmeiro, the radar gun loves him)
   25. formerly dp Posted: May 06, 2014 at 03:30 PM (#4701398)
2013's #1, Domonic Smith, isn't hitting
I thought Smith started to heat up a little of late? Puello's line's particularly disappointing (.236/.277/.281) given that the team's hitting .293/.390/.457.
   26. J in the Slope Posted: May 06, 2014 at 05:35 PM (#4701541)
2013's #1, Domonic Smith, isn't hitting


He is indeed heating up of late: .419/.514/.581 in his last ten games. He's also one of the ten youngest players in his league.

Nick Evans is having a nice season in Reno for whatever that's worth as a 28 year old. .312/.363/.688 so far.
   27. Walt Davis Posted: May 07, 2014 at 02:47 AM (#4701833)
There's another Domonic in baseball?
   28. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: May 07, 2014 at 03:02 AM (#4701836)
And if my aunt had a dickandballs, she'd be my uncle.

Take it to last month's OT Politics thread.
   29. Adam Starblind Posted: May 07, 2014 at 09:44 AM (#4701901)
Was Aunt Rosemarie discussed?

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