It’s season preview time! Each Saturday I will analyze each position, looking at the quality, as well as the depth of the Met roster, and how players at each position could perform this season. Enjoy.
We like Ike. We’ve all heard it and we all love it. Ike Davis is one of the most promising sluggers in baseball. He had a fantastic rookie season in 2010 and got off to a great start in 2011, a start in which he looks to build upon in 2012.
Davis, who will be 25 when the season begins, will enter his third big league season this year. Last year, Ike played 36 games, hitting seven home runs and driving in 25. He also hit .302. Ike jumped out to a great start in April, hitting .351 in his first ten games and .337 overall in April. He showed more power than he did in 2010, hitting five home runs in just 19 games at Citi Field, a great sign that he has legitimate power that will translate to every ballpark.
Speaking of Citi Field, the new dimensions at Citi Field will benefit Davis. The Mo’ Zone that terrorized lefties last year will be brought in, making it much easier to pull the ball, which we know is something Ike loves to do. In his career, Ike has hit.478 when pulling the ball to right field compared to .352 up the middle and .262 the opposite way.
On defense, Davis is a stud. His UZR is likely going to be above 10 this year, which will be at or near the top among first baseman. He is a great all-around player. He has often been compared to great sluggers such as Ryan Howard, and rightfully so. Ike is one of the top prospects to go through the Met system in the past decade and will have a huge year in 2012.
Behind Davis, the Mets will count on their versitile players behind him if he goes down. Both Daniel Murphy and Lucas Duda are definitely players I could see moving to first to play a few games if Ike needs time off or goes down with another serious injury. Neither of them are particularly great at their position, so the overall Met fielding would improve if they moved one of their liabilities to first.
Down i the minors, there isn’t much that could replace Davis, but Duda and Murph would be more than satisfactory if they had to move from right field or second base respectively over to first.
Overall Grade: A
Ike could be the next Ryan Howard, a power-hitting lefty whose power translates to all fields. Plus, if he builds on last year, he could even hit close to .300. His talent has the highest ceiling on the Met roster. Even if he doesn’t improve to the player we hope that he can become, his form as a rookie wasn’t at all bad. Ike hit .264 with 19 home runs and 71 RBI. That’s well above the numbers that an average first baseman puts up. Either way, expect Ike to be around for quite a while, crushing monsterous home runs coast to coast in every city for years to come.