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2017 Mets draft profile: Matthew Duce

With their fourteenth selection in the 2017 draft, the Mets selected Matthew Duce, a catcher from Arizona.

Name: Matthew Duce

Born: Sierra Vista, Arizona

Age: 21 (11/22/95)

Height/Weight: 5'10"/173 lbs

Position: C

Bats/Throws: L/R

School: Dallas Baptist University

Matt Duce does not have a relative that was lucky enough to play professional baseball, but that does not mean that he does not have baseball in his blood. His father, Greg, played on the Canadian Little League World Series team in 1977, went on to play college baseball at Grand Canyon University, where he was named the 1986 NAIA World Series MVP, and played first base for the Canadian Olympic Team in numerous competitions, including the 1988 Olympics. The talent given to him through blood and coaching was apparent at Buena High School, where he was a four-year letterman for the Buena Colts. In his senior year, he earned All-State honors, and was named the 2014 Division II Section II Player of the Year in Arizona after hitting .455 with six home runs and 36 RBIs as a senior.

Duce attended Dallas Baptist University, and got limited playing time in his freshman season, hitting a paltry .208/.367/.250 in 14 games. He saw a lot more playing time in 2016, playing in 46 of the Patriots’ 63 games and rewarded Coach Dan Heefner virtually every time he penciled the undersized catcher in, as Duce hit .321/.417/.507. After the season ended, Duce participated in the Cape Cod League. In 25 games with the Falmouth Commodores, he hit .236/.389/.417. The catcher had his best season in 2017 as a junior, hitting .333/.424/.554.

Duce, a right-handed hitter, stands tall at the plate, wrapping his bat behind his head. His swing is nice and level, without many moving parts, mostly designed to be contact oriented. Duce has demonstrated more power than expected because of his size and swing thanks to his quick bat speed. Being a catcher, he has a good eye at the plate and has demonstrated excellent strike zone awareness. Defensively, he has a plus arm, having hit roughly 90 MPH on the gun.