Yes, I know the arguments, “Mets are in a rebuilding mode” and nobody should be untouchable. For the most part you would be right, not many players on this team should be untouchable. Ike Davis however does not fall into that category. If there is one player on this team that we all should be in agreement on who is untouchable it’s Issac Benjamin Davis. When the 2012 season starts Ike will be only 25 years old. He will be under team control through 2017. Last week when it was reported at first that the Mets were looking to trade Ike I was shocked. While they did not trade Ike they did make it known that they would listen to trades for the young first baseman.There is no solid reason to trade Ike. He’s not making a lot of money so there goes that excuse for Sandy Alderson and his supporters. In fact Ike is scheduled to make a mere $1.168 million dollars in 2012 before being arbitration eligible in 2013. That is a very small sum of money, moneyball team or not to pay a player the caliber of Ike Davis.
As we saw in 2010 Ike can flat out hit. I know he struggled in the middle of his rookie campaign but he finished strongly. We all knew that Ike could hit but what surprised me was his defense. I remember hearing some concerns about that while he was coming up but he put all that to rest. I’m not just talking about the flashy catches over the dugout, I’m talking about the overall plays he makes on the field. The way he plays the bunt is very reminiscent of Keith Hernandez. Ike ended 2010 with a disappointing batting average of .264 but what was impressive was his home-run total of 19 with 71 RBI’s. Ike also finished 7th in that year’s NL Rookie Of The Year voting.
In 2011 Ike got off to hot start. In 36 games he burst out of the gate batting .302 with 7 home-runs and 25 RBI’s before getting hurt in a freak injury that would ultimately lead to the end of his season. Once Ike was on the disabled list you could see the negative impact it had on the team. Now I know the team had no chance of succeeding last season regardless, but without Ike’s presence this team was worse both offensively and defensively. The replacements of Daniel Murphy, Lucas Duda and Nick Evans were poor substitutes for Ike’s combination of offensive and defensive production. With Jose Reyes gone now it’s more important to have a defensive first baseman than it was before. Also Ike’s bat is even more important with how the lineup is going to be now.
I’ll admit I wasn’t sold on Ike at first. I gave him a hard time, I thought he was a good but nothing special kind of a player. I don’t know if it was his skid during the 2010 season or his inability to make some adjustments that year but coming into last year I wasn’t too high on Ike. That changed in the first month of the season. I saw he made adjustments, I saw how he evolved from his rookie season, I saw how smart of a baseball player he is and I saw what make this young player special. I’m more than happy to admit I was wrong about Ike Davis and what he will be for the Mets.
It makes zero sense to trade him. Ike with the new dimensions at Citi Field will hit 40-45 home-runs and don’t be surprised to see a gold glove or two in his bright future. Not only is he gifted physically but mentally as well. He’s a smart baseball player. He has for the most part taken very well to New York. It’s not easy for anyone to succeed in this city whether it’s an all-star free agent or a highly regarded young prospect that has been coming up through the system but he hasn’t shown signs of that getting to him. Ike has what it takes to be a general out there one day. In fact I can see him as a Keith Hernandez type out there, taking charge and leading his team. Ike is the kind of first baseman every teams wants, great with the bat and great with the leather. You do not trade away these players, you build a franchise around them. I would love to see this regime of geniuses do something where they lock Ike up avoiding future arbitration and take away a couple of free agent years.
Let’s hope that we see Ike Davis in Citi wearing a Mets uniform for years to come otherwise we’re moving backwards instead of going forwards.