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Lucas Duda puts power on display

New York Mets' Lucas Duda leans against the

New York Mets' Lucas Duda leans against the batting cage during spring training baseball. (Feb. 17, 2012) Credit: AP

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- It was only batting practice, but that didn't stop the players on Field 7, the Citi Field replica, from glancing skyward with every swing by Lucas Duda Monday. The dimensions are smaller now but Duda didn't need help, launching blast after blast high over the wall in right.

Duda's artillery display was awesome, but also potentially dangerous to those who assumed they were a safe distance away. Like I-95, for example.

"We have a set of lawyers that are scattered through the crowd," manager Terry Collins joked. "It's impressive, isn't it?"
Spectacular enough that principal owner Fred Wilpon, a stunned onlooker himself, called over Duda for a chat.

"Not only is he talented," Wilpon said, "he gets what I mean about the young core of this team. He's part of that."

Right now, Collins plans to use Ike Davis as his cleanup hitter, behind David Wright, followed by Jason Bay and Duda.

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