Paul Lo Duca Paul Lo Duca Position Catcher Team New York Mets Experience 9 years Age 34 Height 5' 10" (1.78 m) Weight 210 lbs (95.3 kg) Bats Right Throws Right College Arizona State 2006 Salary $6,250,000 Place of Birth Brooklyn, New York Selection 25th round amateur draft, 1993 Drafted by Los Angeles Dodgers Major League Debut June 21, 1998 Paul Anthony Lo Duca (born April 12, 1972 in Brooklyn, New York) is a catcher in Major League Baseball who plays for the New York Mets. Previously, Lo Duca played for the Los Angeles Dodgers (1998-2004) and Florida Marlins (2004-2005).
Lo Duca broke onto the scene with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2001 with a great season, which led many to compare him to former Dodger Mike Piazza. While he has not matched that season since - let alone lived up to Piazza's Hall of Fame credentials - Lo Duca has logged some of the best statistics for catchers and been named to three All-Star Games. In 2002, he was one of the best contact hitters in the majors - only Jason Kendall struck out less often and no one had a better percentage of swinging strikes. In 2003, Lo Duca's 25-game hitting streak was the second longest in Los Angeles Dodgers history and, defensively, he ranked first in the National League in throwing out baserunners trying to steal. In 2004, he led National League catchers in runs batted in despite a mid-season trade. While Lo Duca has been relatively healthy, playing in 125 games or more the last five seasons, his numbers generally decline after the All-Star break.
Lo Duca was traded from Los Angeles to the Florida Marlins as part of a six-player deal at the 2004 trading deadline. (A rumored subsequent three-team trade involving Lo Duca that would have sent All-Star pitcher Randy Johnson to the Los Angeles Dodgers never panned out as a result of Johnson's reluctance to waive his off no-trade clause). After the 2005 season, the Marlins traded Lo Duca to the Mets for two minor league prospects as part of a Marlins "market correction" where most of their large salaries were traded away in preparation for a future relocation of the franchise out of Florida.
In an eight-year career, Lo Duca has a .285 batting average with 66 home runs and 363 RBI in 772 games. As with many catchers, he has a tendency to start the season strong before his catching duties seemingly wear him out around the All-Star break.