Fantasy Baseball: Top 5 New York Mets To Draft In 2015

6 of 6

Lucas Duda

Aug 24, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; New York Mets first baseman Lucas Duda (21) hits a home run during the ninth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Duda had a breakout season for the Mets last season, proving their decision to trade Ike Davis and hold onto him as a smart one. Without any competition and looking over his shoulder constantly, Duda provided a huge season in the middle of the Mets lineup, smashing 30 home runs with 92 RBI. Those are solid numbers in the middle of anyone’s lineup, especially for a player that was being given the opportunity for the first time.

While Duda does still struggle against left-handed pitching, there is no one on the Mets current roster that will challenge him for playing time in a platoon situation, so he will receive the lion’s share of the starts and at-bats at first base. That will have a negative effect on his batting average, but a .253 BA is tolerable when it comes along with top-10 home run and RBI totals in the NL and top-20 in MLB.

Last season only 11 players reached the 30-home run plateau, and Duda should be a member of that group once again. His power is no fluke, as that is the reason he was getting into the Mets lineups previous to Davis being traded, and them playing him in left field even though he had woeful defense.

As a full-time player from the get-go, Duda could approach 35 home runs, especially if he is ever able to figure out left-handed pitching. His slugging percentage was half of what it was against lefties than righties in 2014, so if that number gets closer together Duda will assuredly be approaching the mid-30’s for home run totals.

For the Mets and fantasy owners, any improvements made against left-handed pitchers is an added bonus. Duda’s AVP is 158 on ESPN right now, which is a steal when you look at some of the players going ahead of him. For example, Chris Carter is going over two rounds earlier than Duda in drafts. Is seven home runs worth that much when he has a lower BA, RBI and run total?

The answer should be easy, as Duda, like Murphy, is criminally undervalued. Some people will point to the fact that was the first time Duda has produced that much in a season, but it was also the first time he received full-time at-bats and starts. Don’t try and talk yourself out of putting Duda on your team waiting to see him put it together for more than one season; be the owner that reaps the benefits of Duda producing for the second consecutive season.

Next: What will the Mets' record be in 2015?

More from Empire Writes Back