At the outset of this season, it looked as though Lucas Duda was going to be the offensive juggernaut the New York Mets have been searching for. Now, as the Mets continue to slump on offense, a part of their slump can be attributed to Duda's own inability to hit the ball.
Before the month of June, Duda was hitting .298/.394/.539. Entering Friday's game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, that has dropped to .242/.345/.416. Duda's average since the start of June is .158, while he has gone .069 (2-29) in eight games in July.
FanGraphs shows that Duda has chased more pitches outside the strike zone this season compared to last season, in large part due to pitchers not throwing anything hittable. Mets hitting coach Kevin Long says Duda has to be sure he is disciplined at the plate to lay off those pitches.
Last season, Duda hit 30 home runs and looked poised to repeat that performance this season, but he has hit just one home run in the last 35 games. Duda says, "It's one of those stretches that happen. I'm going to stay positive and help my team any way I can."
Mets coaches are confident that Duda will break out this slump very soon and go back to his early-season form. Manager Terry Collins believes Duda is in line for a huge second half of the season, but according to Long, Duda's slump is due to a lack of confidence at the plate, and if he is poised to be the source of offense the Mets are clamoring for, Duda has to believe he can do it.