Doug’s Dugout: Ike and That Strasburg Dude, Super Hero, Whatever…
In Doug’s Dugout today we broach the following: A scout’s opinion on Ike, Stephen Strasburg, and other random mindless thoughts:
When Ike Davis was drafted off the campus of Arizona State, a scout described him as having, “light-tower power.” In the minors his first year he had an outage, but as he has matured and found his way to Citi Field that assessment is as piercing as a flood light.
His game-winning majestic blast on Tuesday night was his second to the outer limits of the stratosphere. Earlier this year he parked one on the Shea Bridge that halted traffic with stunned rubber-necker’s.
Other than Darryl Strawberry, no left-handed hitter in Mets history has displayed the ability to launch tape-measure home runs like Ike has. Heck, soon the team might have to buy a GPS to track some of his future clouts.
Moreover, the kid is calm and collected and doesn’t seemed the least bit fazed by the show. Maybe growing up the son of an ex-major league has something to do with his advanced poise. He hit a few bumps in the road this year but figured out how to maneuver around them the next time.
Will he be as good a hitter as say John Olerud or Keith Hernandez, maybe not. But the sky is the limit for him. By the way, he plays a very solid first base and that will only improve as he tours the league.
Secondly, Mr. Strasburg’s 14K debut on Tuesday was a thing of beauty. True fans throw caution to the wind when discussing the big picture, but who can not deny the future looks bright for the Nationals strapping right-hander. And that does not bode well for Mets fans.
Add the prodigy-number one draft pick Bryce Harper (assuming the front office can commandeer a Brink’s Truck to satisfy agent Scott Boras-is that possible?), and the Nats might have two cornerstones to build on. The Mets once had Strawberry and Dwight Gooden, but that foundation crumbled.
Unfortunately for Mets fans, the talented pair only won one World Series between them in Blue and Orange, succumbing to the bright city lights. 1988 still stings. Anyway, that is why you are careful to not canonize a young stud(s) before his time.
Suffice to say, Strasburg’s control and assortment of pitches on display was awe-inspiring. When he finally comes to New York the turnstiles’ should be humming. Suddenly, with the addition of Strasburg, Jason Heyward in Atlanta, and Paul Bunyan, er 20-year-old Mike Stanton in Florida, and the East looks like a beast (in both leagues) for years to come.
Oh, I forgot to include that aging, but talented team, in Philly!
If the Mets can distance themselves from the .500 mark in the coming weeks, with Carlos Beltran gracing us before the all-star break (fingers crossed) and some talented arms on a buyers’ market, the summer suddenly looks brighter around Flushing.
Even the chop shops around Willet’s Point have begun sprucing up, neatly stacking their tires, and burning only old Vin numbers in outside barrels.
And it all started on April 19th when Omar came to his senses and shipped Ike Davis south into the waiting arms of Mets fans.
About the Author: Doug Branch
Doug has been sports writing since 1983. He first wrote about the Mets at spring training that year, and his first interviewee was surly catcher Ron Hodges. He currently writes for Mets Inside Pitch, among other magazines published by Scout Publishing-which is owned by Fox Sports. He began following the team during the Wes Westrum era, and redeemed many Borden milk coupons for free Saturday baseball. The night of Tom Seaver's imperfect game against the Cubs, he was in line to buy a ticket when the windows slammed shut and abject disappointment ensued.
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