In the National League this year, many rookies have come out of the gates to have phenomenal years. Starlin Castro, Gaby Sanchez, Pedro Alvarez, Buster Posey, Jason Heyward and the Mets own Ike Davis. To prove my case, I’m gonna debunk all the other contestants.
Starlin Castro has hit for absolutely no power, but has the highest batting average. He has also committed 27 errors at shortstop, and despite his average only scored 51 runs. He is just 20 years old, so this performance is great. He hits for contact, but doesn’t have patience at the plate.
Pedro Alvarez has hit for MAJOR power, slugging 16 home runs in 343 at-bats. He has also managed to strikeout 118 times. Pedro is striking out in 33% of his at-bats, and isn’t doing himself any favors with the 37 walks and 17 errors, giving him a .938 fielding percentage. If he keeps “growing”, he’ll get the Miguel Cabrera treatment, except Cabrera was a phenomenal hitter at 20.
Gaby Sanchez has personally killed the Mets on numerous occasions, and for the season is hitting .274 with 19 home runs. He doesn’t walk much, isn’t a great fielder and is the oldest of the prospects at 27. Sanchez winning would be a major dark horse candidate since he doesn’t have the name recognition.
Buster Posey has been as advertised, hitting 17 home runs in 398 at bats, and playing great defense. Based on name recognition, his team being a major playoff contender and playing at a premium position, he is a major front-runner.
Jason Heyward has been good, and I saved him for last for a reason. I’m going to list two players stats, and one will be Ike Davis and the other will be Jason Heyward
Player A: .265, 19 Home Runs, 71 RBI, 73 Runs, 72 Walks, 138 Strikeouts,3 stolen bases, 9 errors, .993 fielding percentage
Player B: .275, 19 Home Runs, 71 RBI, 82 Runs, 90 Walks, 126 Strikeouts, 10 stolen bases, 6 errors, .975 fielding percentage
Without even getting into the meat-and-potatoes, those stat lines mirror each other. Player B has the advantage by a large number only in the walks category, with everything else being within 15 or .10 of each other. Surely that can’t mean much, can it? Well, lets find out our contestants.
Player A is Ike Davis, playing a premium position and according to UZR, the hands-down best defensive first-baseman in the lineup. Player B is Jason Heyward, playing right field ranking him 13th amongst outfielders, approximately ten positions from Angel Pagan, and two away from Mets legend Jeff Francoeur. For all the hype on Heyward, despite the age difference – minus some of the walks, they’ve been essentially the same player. The Mets batting order was horrible, with Jeff Francoeur hitting behind Ike Davis, and when it wasn’t Frenchy it was Jason Kay…er…Bay. Heyward’s runs were assisted by Troy Glaus and Brian McCann being phenomenal hitters, the polar-opposite of the duo of Frenchy and the Canadian.
Now, as Mets fans its only right to root for our own guys. In this case, however rooting for Ike Davis wouldn’t be a short-sighted pick. He has been batting in the top-half of the order since he first came up practically, has had no protection behind him for the duration of the season and has played spectacular overall defense, in addition to the three rail catches, saving numerous errant throws from David Wright and Jose Reyes.
What is even more amazing, is Ike Davis doing this in the New York market, hearing it from bloggers, news writers and ESPN or SNY when he goes 0-4, and questioning his overall value. The rookie of the year offensively should be one of the most important contributors to his team as a whole, and Ike Davis truly has been.
Can someone ignore the person (Davis) who has kept up with the best prospect in baseball (Heyward) almost stride for stride? I know I can’t.