Awarding the Met of the Month for July 2014 was not an easy task. The New York Mets had a number of pitchers deliver strong performances in July. Jacob deGrom went 4-1 with a 1.39 ERA in five starts, while Zack Wheeler went 3-0 with a 1.67 ERA in that same time frame. The Mets also got strong performances in the back of their bullpen from both Jenrry Mejia (7 saves, 0.82 ERA) and Jeurys Familia (0.00 ERA in 12 innings pitched). The pitching is great, but the Mets needed to score some runs to take advantage of their strong pitching. The offense took a huge step forward in July, and that is thanks in large part to the newest Met of the Month, first baseman Lucas Duda.
Duda took his play to a new level in July and was very productive as the newly minted cleanup hitter. Duda hit .286 for the month with 6 home runs and 16 RBI's, and he was very good in the clutch as well. Duda has been the team's best hitter with runners on this season, batting .301 with 12 home runs and 53 RBI's for the season. Duda also delivered one of the more signature moments for the Mets this month when he hit the go ahead homer against former Met Francisco Rodriguez in the ninth in Milwaukee on July 25th.
Duda's ability to hit cleanup helped the Mets produce their most potent offensive group of the season. With former cleanup man Curtis Granderson rising to the leadoff spot, the Mets needed a cleanup hitter. Duda has not only stepped up, but his power surge has allowed him to establish career highs in home runs and RBI's with two full months to go in the year. The Mets have to be thrilled with the boost in production they are seeing from Duda, who may have established himself as the first baseman of the future with this strong month of play.
Previous Mets of the Month:
April: SP Jonathon Niese
May: 3B David Wright
June: SP Bartolo Colon
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Tags: Baseball, July, Lucas Duda, Met of the Month, MLB, New York, New York Mets