Ike Davis had an incredible second half for the Mets last season and even led the NL in home runs during that span. Plagued with some rust from an ankle injury that wiped out his 2011 season and a bout with Valley Fever, Davis had two very forgettable months to start the 2012 campaign – combining for a .169 batting average in April and May. He came dangerously close to being demoted to the minors, but Terry Collins stuck with him and Davis rewarded him with 27 homers and .541 slugging percentage the rest of the way.
That leads to the question of if the young first baseman can hit the 40 homer plateau. Fake Teams‘ Ray Guilfoyle believes he can and writes:
But, Davis will have to improve in two areas before reaching the 40 home run plateau. He needs to hit better than .174 vs lefties, as he did in 2012. He hit .295 vs lefties in 2010, so if he can split the difference and hit around .240 against southpaws, that should help him get there. In addition, Davis was horrible at home last season, hitting just .188 with 11 of his home runs coming at Citi Field. Most hitters hit better at home than they do on the road, and Davis hit .271 with 8 of his 19 home runs in 2010, so there is hope that he can improve upon his .188 batting average at home last season.
If Davis can get off to a hot start like he did to start the 2011 season, before his ankle injury, and show some improvement hitting at home and vs lefties, I see him challenging for the National League home run title in 2013. He hit 32 home runs in 2012 after a horrible first two months, and ended the season tied for fourth in the NL in homers, so he has a very good shot at the NL home run title should he be able to put together six power-filled months like he did in June through September last season.
I’m not sure if Davis can overcome both his troubles against lefthanded pitching and solving his offensive woes at Citi Field in one fell swoop. I’m also a big believer in the law of averages.
However, rather than setting 40 homers for a goal, I would much rather see Davis focus on raising last season’s batting average (.227) and OBP (.308) more-so than hitting an additional eight home runs.
I would love to see what kind of season Ike Davis would have if he were to get off to the kind of start he had in 2011 when he batted .302/.383/.543/.925.
Give me a slash line like that and all the extra base-hits that go with it in 2013, and instead of pondering a 40 homer season, we may be looking at an MVP season instead. The 40 homers would just be gravy at that point.