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Duda: Working To Develop Consistency At The Plate

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Posted: 2/11/2013 10:16 AM

Duda: Working To Develop Consistency At The Plate 


Another year, another round of "Hudgens working with _________" -- let's see what does or doesn't work for Duda at the plate this Spring.


NJ.com:

Hudgens looked for Duda's bat to relax on his shoulder prior to each pitch and for his front side to lock in with each stride. For the most part, he was satisfied. But there were still instances when the left-handed hitting Duda would revert to the habitual pre-pitch bat wagging, a mechanism he's developed over a life in baseball. In between each round of about 10 swings, Duda would walk over to Hudgens to hear his assessment.

"I'm just trying to get him to stay easy," Hudgens said. "When he wants to juice the baseball, he'll start getting more movement. He's so big and strong, he doesn't need all that. I'm trying to get him just to calm down; just not trying to do too much with the baseball. Swing almost at 60 percent instead of 100 percent."

That has been the objective since Duda arrived here Jan. 23. He and Hudgens have worked together to minimize pre-pitch movement and all the unnecessary “noise” that makes a swing difficult to repeat and barrel control a challenge.

"It was mutual," the soft-spoken Duda said. "I trust Hudge and I respect what he has to say and I'll work hard to be where I need to be."

http://www.nj.com/mets/index.s...ml#incart_river

"Use your head.....that's that lump 3 feet above your arse." - Jimmy Dugan

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Posted: 2/11/2013 10:20 AM

Re: Duda: Working To Develop Consistency At The Plate 


To me it looked like Duda was either being too selective or was having problems with pitch recognition.  He took too many strikes down the middle of the plate and always found himself down 0-2 in the count rather quickly.
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Posted: 2/11/2013 10:24 AM

RE: Duda: Working To Develop Consistency At The Plate 


I tend to agree, in that the "preaching patience" approach took away from his aggressiveness. I'm all for refining a hitter, and making him more dangerous as time goes on - but when a hitter's just starting out.....let him do what works best, before tinkering.

They definitely did with Duda, especially early in the count last season. Not saying I love the guy as a hitter, but he swung some huge lumber toward the end of 2011. That all went out the window playing a foreign position, and being forced to be more "selective"......lotta mental games at work, for a guy who definitely had problems handling it all in 2012.

Let him rip, and then adjust accordingly - depending on how pitchers scout him.

"Use your head.....that's that lump 3 feet above your arse." - Jimmy Dugan

Last edited 2/11/2013 10:24 AM by Walnutz15

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Posted: 2/11/2013 11:00 AM

Re: Duda: Working To Develop Consistency At The Plate 


Quick - name one hitter who Hudgens has made better.



Later
"You spend a good part of your life gripping the baseball, and in the end it turns out it was the other way around all the time." Jim Bouton
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Posted: 2/11/2013 11:02 AM

Re: Duda: Working To Develop Consistency At The Plate 



NewMFS62 wrote: Quick - name one hitter who Hudgens has made better.
I don't disagree.  However, Hudgens seems to have his supporters here.

I'd be interested in the responses.  biggrin

"Use your head.....that's that lump 3 feet above your arse." - Jimmy Dugan

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Posted: 2/11/2013 11:06 AM

Re: Duda: Working To Develop Consistency At The Plate 



NewMFS62 wrote: Quick - name one hitter who Hudgens has made better.



Later

Actually, during 2011 I thought he was quite successful.  The Mets were drawing more walks and even some marginal players came in and hit pretty well.  Last year, though, I did not see any successes.  The jury is still out on him in my book.
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Posted: 2/11/2013 11:13 AM

Re: Duda: Working To Develop Consistency At The Plate 


In 2011 Duda had a very advanced gap to gap approach at the plate.  For 2012 they tried to get him to turn on the ball more in the interest of taking advantage of his power.  The goal was to wait for crushable pitches.  At the end of the day- for whatever reason- this change did not work for Duda. He ended up pressing and while he did walk a little more, he struck out A LOT more and didn't produce more power.

I think you have to go back to letting Duda be Duda.  Yes, he's going to hit an opposite field single a lot of times when you'd rather he kill the ball but his average will be higher and he'll probably hit 40 doubles if his defense doesn't limit his ABs too much.  Given his physical strength he may still accidientally hit 20 HRs.
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Posted: 2/11/2013 11:15 AM

RE: Duda: Working To Develop Consistency At The Plate 


FWIW-- Duda saw an 0-2 count in 19% of his PAs in 2012. The NL average was 20%. His patience got him to 3-0 in 7% of his PAs, versus 5% for the league.
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Posted: 2/11/2013 11:18 AM

RE: Duda: Working To Develop Consistency At The Plate 


And yet he hit .200 after "patiently" working the count to 3-0.....and .133 after the pitcher fell behind him 3-1.

Some guys are far better hitters early in the count. Ideally you'd like your hitters to be better deep in a count, but again - you tinker when you need to make the adjustments.

In essence: "I think you have to go back to letting Duda be Duda." - and this includes playing LF, in lieu of RF. 

"Use your head.....that's that lump 3 feet above your arse." - Jimmy Dugan

Last edited 2/11/2013 11:24 AM by Walnutz15

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Posted: 2/11/2013 11:22 AM

RE: Duda: Working To Develop Consistency At The Plate 



erosen wrote: FWIW-- Duda saw an 0-2 count in 19% of his PAs in 2012. The NL average was 20%. His patience got him to 3-0 in 7% of his PAs, versus 5% for the league.

It is amazing how perception can be contrary to the facts.
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Posted: 2/11/2013 11:23 AM

RE: Duda: Working To Develop Consistency At The Plate 


Ooohhh.. Spring Training Fodder season starts right about now... sweeeeeet
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Posted: 2/11/2013 11:25 AM

RE: Duda: Working To Develop Consistency At The Plate 



BelieveInMetsMagic wrote: Ooohhh.. Spring Training Fodder season starts right about now... sweeeeeet

I'll take it, especially as an alternative to more boring Bourn talk.

"Use your head.....that's that lump 3 feet above your arse." - Jimmy Dugan

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Posted: 2/11/2013 11:29 AM

Re: Duda: Working To Develop Consistency At The Plate 



NewMFS62 wrote: Quick - name one hitter who Hudgens has made better.



Later

Not sure how helpful he was in the process but Wright made adjustments last year that led to him reverting back to the hitter of old.  Moving closer to the plate, more level swing, not swinging out of his shoes trying to pull a HR.  Again David is an elite hitter and may have done these things with minimal input from the coaching staff but he is one possibility.
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Posted: 2/11/2013 11:42 AM

RE: Duda: Working To Develop Consistency At The Plate 



Walnutz15 wrote:
BelieveInMetsMagic wrote: Ooohhh.. Spring Training Fodder season starts right about now... sweeeeeet

I'll take it, especially as an alternative to more boring Bourn talk.
thumbsup.gif
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Posted: 2/11/2013 11:46 AM

RE: Duda: Working To Develop Consistency At The Plate 


"And yet he hit .200 after "patiently" working the count to 3-0.....and .133 after the pitcher fell behind him 3-1."

The former is a 30 PA sample and the latter 50 PAs. I don't think there are many conclusions to be made from that data.

SSS aside, In those 30 PAs Duda drew walks at almost exactly the elague average rate; 66.7% for him versus 65.1% for the league.

In the remaining *10* PAs, he singled twice; a league average player would have had a single and two doubles [and that is only after rounding the .283 league batting average up to .300 and .487 SLG to .500].
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Posted: 2/11/2013 11:50 AM

RE: Duda: Working To Develop Consistency At The Plate 


While we don't like to draw anything definitive from "small samples", I'll go out on a limb to state that Duda would be best suited to going out and aggressively approaching an AB until he proves he can't make the adjustment.

There's no reason to preach something as a "one-size fits all" when every player's a different animal, IMHO.  Hopefully, he'll be permitted to rip early in the count - in lieu of passively taking an AB, as he outwardly seemed to last season.

If a guy who drives the ball sees a pitch he wants to clobber, early - then let him.

"Use your head.....that's that lump 3 feet above your arse." - Jimmy Dugan

Last edited 2/11/2013 11:52 AM by Walnutz15

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Posted: 2/11/2013 12:58 PM

RE: Duda: Working To Develop Consistency At The Plate 



erosen wrote: FWIW-- Duda saw an 0-2 count in 19% of his PAs in 2012. The NL average was 20%. His patience got him to 3-0 in 7% of his PAs, versus 5% for the league.

Rather than comparing to the league average wouldn't it make more sense to compare what he did during his weak 2012 to his strong 2011?

In 2012 he reached 0-2 19% of the time.  During 2011 it was only 10% of the time.

He reached 3-0 slightly more in 2012 than in 2011-- 8% to 7%.

Almost twice as many 0-2 counts tells me that he was doing some combination of taking hittable pitches or swinging at unhittable ones (likely low breaking balls).  The data seems to bear out the latter a bit in that he saw a lot more sliders and curveballs and fewer fastballs in 2012 than 2011. My eyes told me that he watched a lot of hittable strikes in 2012 but I haven't dug into the data yet.
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Posted: 2/11/2013 1:15 PM

RE: Duda: Working To Develop Consistency At The Plate 



Walnutz15 wrote: While we don't like to draw anything definitive from "small samples", I'll go out on a limb to state that Duda would be best suited to going out and aggressively approaching an AB until he proves he can't make the adjustment.

There's no reason to preach something as a "one-size fits all" when every player's a different animal, IMHO.  Hopefully, he'll be permitted to rip early in the count - in lieu of passively taking an AB, as he outwardly seemed to last season.

If a guy who drives the ball sees a pitch he wants to clobber, early - then let him.
Completely agree.  The goal is to hit the ball hard.  Sometimes the best chance to do that occurs early in the count.
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Posted: 2/11/2013 1:16 PM

RE: Duda: Working To Develop Consistency At The Plate 



Walnutz15 wrote: While we don't like to draw anything definitive from "small samples", I'll go out on a limb to state that Duda would be best suited to going out and aggressively approaching an AB until he proves he can't make the adjustment.

There's no reason to preach something as a "one-size fits all" when every player's a different animal, IMHO.  Hopefully, he'll be permitted to rip early in the count - in lieu of passively taking an AB, as he outwardly seemed to last season.

If a guy who drives the ball sees a pitch he wants to clobber, early - then let him.
+1

Changing your approach to work deeper counts takes a certain level of IQ- baseball and general- to execute. Duda strikes me as a sweet kid, but not exactly a Mensa member. Sometimes "see ball, hit ball" is the best way for some guys. Why confuse him?
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Posted: 2/11/2013 1:44 PM

RE: Duda: Working To Develop Consistency At The Plate 


"In 2012 he reached 0-2 19% of the time. During 2011 it was only 10% of the time." Without knowing normal ranges it doesn't mean a whole lot. If 10% is three or more SD from average [for an average player, for a power hitter?] then it would suggest that being that extreme isn't something you can really count on.

I don't have an easy way to check out a large number of players, so I have no clue what would be considered a normal range.
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