Alderson favors on-base percentage over power, and Duda – despite not having a good year – scored over Davis in both categories in 2013. Apparently long forgotten are Davis’ strong first impression and the 32 homers he hit in 2012.
Both had sluggish starts last year, but Davis’ was far worse and more prolonged, and when they returned in the second half, the frustrated Davis continued being a strikeout machine, hit with limited power and did little else to get on base.
Mercifully, he was injured.
Duda is rated higher in Alderson’s eyes because of the following:
* He has a higher on-base percentage, which somewhat offsets his strikeouts. Davis has shown little improvement, or even desire, to limit his strikeouts.
* The belief is if he’ll continue being selective at the plate he’ll develop the aggressiveness that will increase his run production. To the contrary, Davis has shown little, if any, improvement in pitch selection.
* Duda has shown more of an ability to use the whole field, while Davis still is determined to pull everything.
* While Davis is better defensively, Duda isn’t terrible at the position. And, beside that, just how many games are decided defensively at first base?
* Davis could have had a higher upside at the start of his career, but where is it now? The feeling is getting more pronounced that Davis is as good as he’ll get.
* Duda makes considerably less money, which always remains an issue for the Mets.
* Currently, more teams are interested in Davis because the belief is he just needs a change of scenery. That makes his potential greater to those from the outside. Meanwhile, Duda’s total sampling is limited to the outside.
The Mets have two first basemen they are interested in shopping, but clearly a greater sense of urgency to get rid of Davis.