A Spike in Ike’s Value

With yesterday’s cut of first baseman Mike Jacobs in New York, Mets followers are eagerly anticipating word that top hitting prospect Ike Davis is on his way to the Majors. It’s certainly not a huge leap to expect the former first round draft pick to be a better offensive contributor than bench warmer Fernando Tatis, the currently-injured Daniel Murphy, or Jacobs.

Davis has hit well this year in triple-A, albeit in a small sample size of 33 at-bats. (The quick trigger suggests that Mets management is feeling some heat to win… quickly). Davis has an overall line of .364/.500/.636 and is showing a good eye with nine walks to five strikeouts.

The former Arizona State two-way player had a slow start to his career, which included a well-publicized 215-at-bat debut without a homer. Well, questions about Davis’ power have all but been answered. The left-handed hitter slugged 20 homers last year and posted a .256 ISO rate in half a season at double-A.

He also showed patience last year by posting a walk rate of more than 11%, but the strikeouts could be an issue, especially early on in his MLB career. Davis had a 26% strikeout rate last season. It remains to be seen how well Davis will hit for average; it’s risen with each promotion but so has his BABIP, which was up to .381 in double-A. Given his lack of foot speed, Davis is unlikely to maintain that high rate as a result, which will ultimately be felt in the batting average. His struggles against southpaws could also be an issue (OPS of .672 vs southpaws in ’09, 1.000 vs right-handers) unless a platoon situation – which would make a lot of sense – is utilized, at least early on in his career.

Defensively, Davis should be an upgrade. As a former two-way player he has a strong arm, which is why he also spent time in the outfield in college (where his lack of speed hurt him).

It’s pretty clear that promoting Davis is pretty much a no-lose situation for the Mets at this point… aside from service time, which is irrelevant for a team serious about contending in 2010. He has the potential to be a Rookie of the Year candidate in the National League, which is great for PR… something the organization could use.





Marc Hulet has been writing at FanGraphs since 2008. His work focuses on prospects and fantasy. Follow him on Twitter @marchulet.

37 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
AlexPoterack
12 years ago

“It’s pretty clear that promoting Davis is pretty much a no-lose situation for the Mets at this point… aside from service time, which is irrelevant for a team serious about contending in 2010.

If the Mets think they’re serious about contending in 2010, that’s a loss for fans hoping for rationality from the front office.

Then again, any fan hoping for that at this juncture is just asking to be disappointed.

Wrighteous
12 years ago
Reply to  AlexPoterack

If it weren’t for biased NL umpiring, the mets would be 9-3 right now.

Jason B
12 years ago
Reply to  Wrighteous

What!! Shoddy umpiring has cost the Mets *five* games?!? That’s just totally ludicrous.

I think if it weren’t for the umpiring they would have been 126-36 last year. Damn those umps for not fielding any semblance of a major league caliber pitching rotation!

Utterly preposterous.

AnotherFan
12 years ago
Reply to  Wrighteous

if it weren’t for a bad team, they’d be 12-0

nmh
12 years ago
Reply to  Wrighteous

I’m sort of baffled by this claim. Is there any way for you to expound upon this utterly ridiculous proclamation? I suppose it could be a joke that’s way over my head, but I’m otherwise astounded by this post.

heh
12 years ago
Reply to  Wrighteous

It’s wrighteous. He claims every good player from the steroid era juiced. Actually I think he claims every good player now juices. Except for david wright.

joser
12 years ago
Reply to  Wrighteous

There is indeed a joke here, but it’s the commenter not the comment.