I want you to prepare for something… something that you probably thought you’d never read me say on MMO.
I said it. Feels good to get that off my chest.
It’s hard to really challenge the fact that no other writer on this site has been as tough on Ike for the last two years as I have. I wanted him sent to the minors in April of 2012. I believed and still do believe that hype got the best of us with regards to Davis.
But here’s the thing.
He’s a better baseball player than Lucas Duda.
Davis has had his struggles, no denying that. However, Davis has several pieces to his game that if they all come together, he could be a good starting 1B. In 350 games, Lucas Duda to me has proven that he is not an everyday talent.
I think Davis’ trade values is all based on somebody out there trusting that all of the tools he has can come together in a change of scenery type situation. Nobody’s saying that about Duda. Nobody is looking at his below average numbers and saying “he just needs a change of scenery.” Why?
What about Duda’s bat makes him so good? He looks like he should have way more power than he does, but the fact remains – you can’t hit for power if you’re not hitting the ball. He’s not a good fielder, and will most likely be the weakest fielder in the infield if he is the starting 1B. So what does he have to offer than Davis doesn’t provide?
I keep hearing his OBP is the leading factor. I don’t buy it. If your hitting coach has an approach that he tries to instill in his hitters, then they should be able to teach Davis better plate discipline. You can’t turn a slow footed fielder into a quick footed fielder at 1B.
Lucas Duda has never shown us that he can be an every day starter on a winning ball club. Davis, despite my criticism, has.
The other thing you hear is that they want to trade Davis to be able to afford Drew. Look, if that is true – then shame on the Mets. You’re the New York Mets for crying out loud. This is not 2011 anymore, you shouldn’t NEED to trade an arbitration player who will make what MAYBE $5million in order to acquire a player you believe will be an upgrade to your roster at SS.
Now, if you’re telling me I have two bats who are both struggling to reach their potential are in the hunt to be the starting 1B – the first question I ask is, “which one has the glove to keep him in the lineup?”
The answer there is a no brainer.
We have all seen the trade rumors with Davis and what the Mets seem to be asking in return. They aren’t giving him away, which tells you they do see value in him OR Alderson is trying to trick everybody. You don’t hear them offering up Duda in deals do you? Why?
Because he has no trade value. He’s the future Matt Stairs of MLB.
Lucas Duda cannot be the answer at 1B, and if Davis is not motivated by this off-season to go out and show the Mets and all of us that he’s the guy we all hoped he’d be – then you know for sure in 2015 you need a new 1B.
But if you start Duda there, you’ll know on Opening Day you’re in the hunt for a new 1B next season.