CINCINNATI -- Lucas Duda is not comfortable in right field. He admits that much. But in the words of Mets manager Terry Collins, "he'd better get comfortable real fast."
Though Scott Hairston and Willie Harris both figure to see increased exposure in the wake of Carlos Beltran's pending trade to the Giants, it is Duda who will receive the lion's share of playing time in right. A natural first baseman, Duda played one professional game in right field in 2009, though he did dabble at the position this spring.
As long as Duda can hold his own defensively, the Mets will be more interested to see what he can do at the plate as an everyday player. Exploding into the organization's consciousness after hitting 27 homers over three levels last season, Duda has displayed immense power potential to go along with a noticeable lack of confidence.
"I'm not worried about him," Collins said. "I think in the last month, he's made huge advancements in his psychological approach, so I think he's going to be fine."
Duda entered Wednesday's play on his best offensive run as a Major Leaguer, batting .340 with one home run, two triples and three doubles over his last 53 at-bats. Duda's predecessor, by comparison, hit .323 with three homers and nine doubles over that span.
Duda promptly added his second homer of the season in the sixth inning of Wednesday's 8-2 win over the Reds.
"I'm never going to be Carlos Beltran," Duda said. "I'm just going to be me."
Mets sign 44th overall Draft pick Fulmer
CINCINNATI -- The Mets announced Wednesday that they have come to terms with right-handed pitcher Michael Fulmer, the 44th overall selection in last month's First-Year Player Draft.
Fulmer, 18, finished 10-2 with a 0.72 ERA in his senior season at Deer Creek (Okla.) High School, with 127 strikeouts in 68 innings. He received the Ferguson Jenkins Award this year, presented to the top five high school baseball players in Oklahoma. The Mets drafted him with the sandwich-round pick they received as compensation for free-agent reliever Pedro Feliciano signing with the Yankees.
The Mets also announced the signing of their 21st-round pick, right-handed pitcher John Gant. They have now inked 31 of their Draft picks, including nine of their first 11. Still unsigned is first-round selection Brandon Nimmo, who has until Aug. 15 to strike a deal.
Mets announce Kids Go Free ticket offer
CINCINNATI -- The Mets on Wednesday announced the launch of next month's Kids Go Free ticket offer at Citi Field.
From Aug. 1-7, up to three children 12 and under will receive free admission to a Mets game with the purchase of regularly priced tickets. The offer is valid beginning Wednesday at mets.com/kidsfree or the Citi Field box office, and runs through Aug. 7.
The Kids Go Free ticket offer is subject to availability and is valid for select price categories. All tickets must be picked up at Citi Field the day of the game, with children present.