It’s Clear That Ike Davis Is The Best Option At First Base For The Mets

MLB: New York Mets-WorkoutIke Davis is two seasons removed from his breakout campaign in 2012, where he belted 32 homeruns. It’s such a rare feat in major league baseball to hit 30-plus homeruns that only 5-10% of players do this, on average, any given season. You can’t hit 30 homeruns in a season by accident.

Davis gets a bad rap for his unorthodox swing. You didn’t have to be a hitting coach to see what was wrong with his swing at the beginning of last year—he started with his hands up above his head, then as the pitcher began his motion, he dropped them all the way down to waist level only to have to bring them back up to the hitting zone to take his swing.

Simply stated—Davis’ timing was off. The science of hitting is so precise, that the time that it takes you to blink your eye can turn a would-be homerun, to a weak grounder or even a swing and miss. A millisecond is all it takes to turn a potential All-Star into a player getting run out of town.

He eventually went down to Triple-A to work out the kinks, and came back with a tweaked version of his original swing.

While he still drops his hands, as was evident in the video posted by Adam Rubin of Davis taking batting practice the other day, it’s not as dramatic. He now keeps his hands at about shoulder height in his stance, cutting down the distance he drops his hands. This should allow him to get to the ball quicker.

It’s not the dropping of the hands that is the problem with Davis, it was the distance he was dropping them. Dropping the hands is the way Davis loads his swing, it just looks awkward because most hitters bring their hands straight back. It’s different from the way we were all taught growing up. The only difference is, you and I are sitting on our couch watching him play every week on our television, and he’s a major league baseball player. That means he is in the top five percent of baseball players on the entire planet—that deserves our respect.

Plenty of players have had successful swings with unorthodox swings—Gary Sheffield is the first player that comes to mind, and there are countless others.

After he made the adjustment to his swing down in Triple-A last season, he was hitting much better. Take a look at the splits below:

Split G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS BAbip
1st Half 63 239 212 21 35 3 0 5 18 2 0 25 73 .165 .255 .250 .505 .222
2nd Half 40 138 105 16 30 11 0 4 15 2 0 32 28 .286 .449 .505 .954 .351

After the adjustment, you can see that Davis really became an offensive threat again. Those second-half numbers are outstanding. He increased his walks and batting average while reducing his strikeouts (and I mean, he really reduced his strikeouts). He had almost as many hits, homers and RBI as he did in the first half of the year but with over 100 fewer at-bats. This turn around was all due to the slight tweak in the distance his hands travelled in his swing—he gained back that millisecond he was losing.

If we apply what he did in the second half of 2013, across a hypothetical 500 at-bats, he would have hit in the .280-range, with 20 homeruns, 100+ walks, and about 40 doubles in 2014. If we were in Boston, we would be saying he hit the ball wicked-hard, but in New York, we want to over-analyze his swing and run him out of town because of it.

If Davis can stay focused, there is enough here to think he can get his career back on track. He shouldn’t be concerned with what the newspaper writers, or anyone else for that matter, thinks about 2013. He has to put 2013 behind him for good, or he will never be able to move on with his career. I will leave you with a quote, from Keven Holmes, which summarizes the mindset hitters have to have at the plate…

“If you live in the past, you have no future. Forget what you did yesterday, and achieve your goal for today.”

Presented By Diehards

  • Taskmaster4450

    Good article Mitch.

    Unlike most, I dont think the Mets are as screwed at 1B as most are making them out to be. I believe the combination of Davis/Duda with Satin will allow them to get good production out of the position. Satin tore up lefties hitting over .300 against them I believe. Taking those ABs away from Davis/Duda where they both flail at the ball will improve their BAs and OBP considerably. I havent looked up their splits against righties/lefties but I bet it is considerable.

  • RyanF55

    To the dismay of all Ike haters, he’s going to be standing on 1st base March 31st, barring any obscure ridiculous trade beforehand. His trade value is laughable right now, and he’s still getting paid very little for what he’s capable of producing. Knowing Collins unwavering, nonsensical loyalty, Davis will be at 1st and Duda will be given time in the OF. 🙁

    To my absolute disgust, I see Davis at 1st, Tejada at SS and Flores/Lagares in AAA to start the season.

  • Biggle Boy

    Mitch, I wasn’t able to see the video you mentioned but I take it that Ike’s swing is now more typical of a good approach. I saw video of Mike Trout and Chris Davis hitting and they had their hands placed where you said – at shoulder level, brought back as the pitcher began his delivery to the plate, and then driving the barrel of the bat into the ball. If Ike does that, he should be OK. Hope so.

  • Agee’s Catch

    Preach it Brother Mitch! From the roof tops of Manhattan to the sandy shores of the Hamptons. From Statue of Liberty to the great Capital of our Empire State. I’ve been screaming this all winter. Davis’ approach in the second half was largely unnoticed. All the naysayers claimed all Ike did was walk and hit singles. You don’t get .505 slugging off a .286 average with a few XBH.

    2014 will be Ike Davis Unchained!!!

  • Agee’s Catch

    Son: “Daddy, I studied our left fielder in social studies”

    Dad: “You study baseball?”

    Son: “No. Isn’t that Stonehenge?”

  • Pedro’s Rooster

    Hello, my friend!

    I appreciate your optimism, but I’m not ready to declare the competition over after a 138-PA sample size. Not saying it should be disregarded altogether, but his long stretches of ineptitude should also be part of this assessment (I get that it’s an opinion piece, of course).

  • Randolph Scott

    Scene from a Hogan Heroes episode …. General informs Klink that the highest non-commissioned officer must assume commandant training at once, but once he realizes it’s Sgt. Schultz, he says “Were in a lot of trouble here.”

    That’s what I think of when I read the title “Ike is our best option at first”, because that kind of remark inspires no confidence at all.

    Yeah, yeah, I’m a Ike hater you’ll say, but I’m soooooo sick and tired of potential this, excuses for that and so on …….. Ike’s needs new scenery, it’s as simple as that, and the sooner he’s outta here the better.

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    The batting average and other stats don’t worry me as much as the four home runs. He can have a nice batting average, but what’s the point of clapping him on the back for once hitting 32 home runs if he never hits more than 20 again?

  • Destry

    How is it clear? There wasnt a comparison to the other options. His 2nd have comeback produced 4 HRs in 40 games. That on pace for a whoppins 16 HRs. How anyone cant see thisguy has chronic fatigue from valley fever is beyond me. Connor Jackson part 2.

  • mets2014

    let’s say that ike turns out to be more the 2012 ike than the 2013 ike…what do the mets do? do they trade him or do they re-invest in him?

  • Pedro’s Rooster

    Hey, Guy!

    I get the feeling that his second half included lots of pitches outside the zone—less for him to really drive. Plus, it’s a 138-PA sample size–tough to draw conclusions/projections from that.

    Just guessing, tho—not sure where I’d find a “quality pitches vs. non-quality pitches” breakdown for him.

  • Benny

    Lucas Duda has a much more compact and natural swing, and when playing at 1B he has put up a .269.375.438.813 slash line, in 297 PA. I believe Duda is the better of the two (lesser of two evils), so hopefully they actually make it a competition between the two at the position (without being biased towards Ike), since it’s apparent that both Murphy and Flores are out of the question.

    P.S. Duda also has much better numbers overall against LHP.

  • Agee’s Catch

    Obviously spring training will shed some light on the issue. I’m confident that if Davis does falter, we have enough options to fill the void without having to over pay for a FA or gut the system for someone else. I’m not opposed to bringing someone in if they were a clear improvement, but they are exactly falling off of trees. The guy I’d love to get would be Encarnacion, but why would Toronto trade him?

  • yonkersmets

    I think we owe the lack of power to the effects of Ike’s poor approach at the plate. That will change though.

    Call it straw man but I think as Ike’s discipline at the plate continues to improve, pitchers will offer better pitches to hit because they’ll be less inclined to think he’ll chase. And obviously with that comes more homeruns. I think he can consistently hit between 25 and 30 and creep over a few times..

  • Who let Fred and Jeff start writing blog posts?

  • Agee’s Catch

    But he looked awful after his demotion to AAA. Davis at least looked better after his Vegas Vacation.

  • Agee’s Catch

    There are more than a few of us who saw Ike’s 2011 pre-injury promise and hope to see it again. Injuries, illness and inconsistencies could be all behind him. I’m hoping they are.

  • NewYorkMammoths

  • Benny

    To be quite honest, Duda has never really received a fair shot, while Davis and his step in a bucket ugly swing, alongside his bad attitude have received endless opportunities. Duda is the better of the two, and whoever disagrees with that hasn’t really been paying attention to the two.

  • Fast Eddie

    If Ike gets off to one of his typical horrid starts and he’s hitting .175 with 1 HR and 5 RBI after 25 games, I would think Josh Satin will be getting most of the AB’s at first base. Why? Well, I just don’t see Duda rising up, taking charge and saying “this is my position now”. Lucas is laid back almost to a fault and he has that “let the chips fall where they may” approach. Satin at least gives you quality AB’s and he actually has an approach at the plate where Ike and Duda just seem to hack away. I really am hoping for the best, but we may have a turnstile situation at first base again until we acquire somebody worthy of being an everyday player. I REALLY wanted the Mets to go after Jose Abreu when he was available. His contract turned out to be pretty reasonable and I think he would have been worth the gamble. I believe he could of been the answer, now we’ll never know…

  • ro7a

    Outstanding?? Lets’ not get carried away. 16 Hrs over a full season (which is what his post AAA numbers project to) is hardly outstanding from a supposed power hitting first baseman. Better, yes, improvement, yes, encouraging, maybe, outstanding, hardly.

  • ro7a

    Lucas Duda is not the answer to any question at any position, except best candidate to fill an AL pinch hitter role.

  • Benny

    “We have five first basemen that could play and that didn’t really seem like the point of need,” Wilpon said. “If he played left or right field, I think, yeah we probably would’ve offered the guy a contract.”

    – Jeff Wilpon on Jose Abreu

  • Agee’s Catch

    I doubt he will this year. I think in the NL, Duda should learn the fine art of PH. He has some pop and he can work a count.

  • Benny

    He’s a better answer than Ike Davis.

  • Benny

    “He has some pop and he can work a count.”

    And what exactly can Ike Davis do?

  • Pedro’s Rooster

    Agreed. Is Valley Fever something that can be definitively declared “over”?

    Is it a continuing observable condition (“This X-ray shows ongoing thendelial development on your endofleeb”)? Or is it an unobservable one (“You had observable symptoms, and now you don’t. It may still be impacting you, but we can’t be sure.”)

    If it’s the latter, it may explain why a team wouldn’t trade anything worthwhile for him.

  • Benny

    Well I HOPE for CHANGE then…

  • Agee’s Catch

    Or ride out another season and monitor Dom Smith’s development. He may be a fast mover.

    Ike is under control, through the end of 2016. You don’t need to do anything rash like extend him

  • SCarton12

    When he came back up last year how many lefties did he hit against? He is a platoon player, at best.

  • Agee’s Catch

    Definitely has power. After his stint in Vegas, he walked more. Defensively I like Davis. I just have more confidence in him.
    I’m not saying Your wrong or that I’m right. You have more confidence in Duda. I’m more confident with Ike. I doubt we’re going to change each others mind.

  • Captain America

    No to duda

  • Benny

    So we have:

    Contact: Duda
    Patience: Duda
    Eye: Duda
    Work the count: Duda
    OBP: Duda
    Defense: Ike, but Duda can hold his own there.
    Power: Can go both ways

    Yet, you still have more confidence in Ike? o.0

  • SCarton12

    How many lefties did he face?

  • Mario Caraballo

    Thank You I agree. He is the best option we have. I hope Ike proves everyone wrong. And if he doesnt hoping the mets are hoping for a back up plan. NO DUDA NOR SATIN.

  • Captain America

    Three players in the NL hit
    30 homers or more last year

  • Benny

    Why you changed your post? o.0

  • Benny

    Was Ike one of them?

  • BarnRat

    A helpful glass-half-full article. I worry that the glass-half-empty is that NL pitching in the back-half of 2013 hadn’t adjusted to Ike’s adjustments in Vegas rather than that he found fundamentally more sound swing mechanics.

  • Taskmaster4450

    If you would tell me that Ike would hit 20 Hrs with a .286 BA and a high 3s OBP, I would say sign me up.

    HRs arent the end all like most proclaim. 40 2Bs out of Ike would drive in a lot of runs with 20 HRs. That is 60 XBHs…I could live with that out of a guy who is supposedly “done”.

  • B-Met Fan

    So what. The option we are proposing should Ike no be in the mix is a platoon using Lucas Duda and Josh Satin. The point is Ike Davis is the best option we have at first base, even if he’s in a platoon with Satin. Let him hit against right-handed pitching if that’s what he does best.

  • SCarton12

    Trade high!!! no doubt in my mind.

  • Mario Caraballo

    what bad attitude? Ike is the nicest guy if anything he needs the bad attitude. Ike plays way better defense. Lets give ike one more half of the season to prove that he is better than duda. Ike has hit more as a met then Duda. SO the power is in there the issue is something else.

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    I guess, but it’s just the fact that we keep hanging onto that 32 home run season. So do they keep running him out there, hoping he does it again or do they move on to someone with more pop?

  • Taskmaster4450

    Foolish to count on a guy who is only in rookie ball.

    Most are high in Smith and rightly so. However, there is a long way to the majors and anointing someone the job for the future can have its pitfalls. Lest us not forget Havens was the Mets 2B of the future.

  • Mario Caraballo

    no hes not

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    I don’t have that big of an issue with running Ike out there again this season, but IMO, this has to be the last year and he has to have a short leash. If he’s batting under .250 and not showing much power at the end of May, get rid of him.

  • Taskmaster4450

    I wouldnt be so quick to give Ike the nod defensively.

    He was horrible last season.

  • Captain America

    Mitch stated….
    Ike Davis is two seasons removed from his breakout campaign in 2012, where he belted 32 homeruns. It’s such a rare feat in major league baseball to hit 30-plus homeruns that only 5-10% of players do this, on average, any given season. You can’t hit 30 homeruns in a season by accident.

  • Benny

    His attitude against umpires, and the attitude/pouting he showed and did when he learned of his potential demotion.

  • Big Daddy D

    I honestly think that where he bats in the line-up is also essential. When he was belting 32 HRs he was hitting clean-up behind DW. I know that Collins will never do it but I feel that Ike’s mental difficiencies should be washed away by giving him the confidence to bat between Wright (batting 3rd) and Granderson (batting 5th). If Ike can get back to form physically and mentally that would be make a very fearce power threat down in the line-up.

  • Benny

    List the things Ike is better at compared to Duda.

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    Good question. I think they’d roll with him yet another season. A mistake, IMO, but that’s what I think. Or sell high.

  • Taskmaster4450

    I am actually going to agree with you Benny on this one.

    Duda does have a better swing without the holes in it that Ike has. I think given a full season at 1B, Duda would at a minimum equal Ike’s production if not exceed it. I do not thing you will see that happen since Collins seems to be 1000% in Ike’s corner. As mentioned barring a trade for some obscure prospect, I dont see the Mets moving Ike.

    As for the LHP, that isnt a concern since I believe both will sit with Satin taking most of those ABs.

  • Benny

    Oh, so he didn’t hit 30 last year. So another pointless comment by you, what’s new? Moving on…

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    Personally, I would have traded Ike for the best I could get now, put Duda in AAA and signed Morales to a one-year deal with an option.

  • Benny

    He was horrible last season, but overall he has much better numbers compared to Duda, although Duda hasn’t gotten much time there realistically.

  • Taskmaster4450

    You will be waiting a while for that list Benny.

    The one major question is which player has the likelihood to put it together in the majors. Ike has done 32HR/90 RBI before. Ike is trying to regain form while Duda is trying to show he belongs at this level. The problem with Duda seems to be one of confidence. Does he have the internal makeup to excel at the major league level? That is something I am not so sure about.

  • Pedro’s Rooster

    You guys are starting early today, huh? 🙂

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    In 69 ABs against lefties he hit .145 with one home run. After he came back up, I don’t know.

  • SCarton12

    Ike had a .203 slugging pct against left handed pitchers in 2013. Read it and weep .203!!!!

  • B-Met Fan

    Thanks, Mitch, for a concise and cogent analysis of Ike’s difficulties last year and his overall potential at first base for the Mets. I hope Sandy and TC read your piece. The Mets would be foolhardy giving up on Ike Davis at this point. Ike has long ball potential we desperately need in our lineup, potential he has actualized in real numbers in real output in the past. You couldn’t have stated it more clearly – “You don’t hit 30 home runs in the major leagues by accident.”
    In addition, this year’s team and our team’s in the immediate future will be built around pitching and defense. Although his defensive lapses last season were disarming, I strongly believe Ike’s carried his problems at the plate on the field last summer. Once again, his track record prior to last year included some stellar work with the leather around the bag at first base, defensive play that Lucas Duda simply cannot provide. With a defensively average middle infield, the best possible glove work around the bag at first is a big boost.

  • Taskmaster4450

    Ike hit better than Duda as a Met? Look at their BAs especially over the last two years….I think that is a tough argument to make.

    And Ike had a lot more than half a season to prove he was better than Duda. Ike manned the position for most of the last two seasons.

    Ironically, looking at their stats, thus far, they are basically the same player. One difference is Ike has had a ton of ABs at 1B while Duda has not. Duda struggled in the OF which affected his production. Would the same thing happen at 1B? There is only one way to find out.

  • Benny

    I think he has showed much improved confidence when playing at his natural position (1B).

  • Agee’s Catch

    Yes, yes I do.

    BTW, based on what I saw second half, I disagree with most of your assessment.

    I can’t wait until we start playing games.

  • Pedro’s Rooster

    Absolutely. Lots of folks were talking about getting Encarnacion, but his value vs. his cost is like 2:1 or 3:1.

    We’d have to give up at least one of our untouchables.

  • Taskmaster4450

    I would agree. Duda is better suited for 1B and he is more comfortable over there.

  • oleosmirf

    In his first three seasons in the league, Ike had a .797 OPS, far higher than anyone else we have. Duda is 2nd with .767 and Murphy although he has a career OPS of .757, his OPS in 2012 and 2013 were .735 and .733.

    If Ike can show that 2013 was a fluke (and given that his 2013 OPS is 100 points lower than his career average, it probably is), he is clearly the best option both inside the organization and on the FA list.

  • Taskmaster4450

    You saw Ike’s pre-injury splash in the league.

    He started off well and the injury and valley fever might have taken its toll. However, there are many guys who did well to start and werent much as players. Joe, early on, made the comparison to Mike Jacobs. There is a guy who hit 30 HRs in the majors but never was much of a player. Is that what Ike is or is he something more? That is the big question.

  • SCarton12

    1) a platoon 1st baseman in the NL is a negative, if they do not play another position.
    2) He makes 3.5 million to be a platoon 1st baseman.
    3) His 2013 slugging % vs LHP was .203. That’s not a bad split, that’s horrendous.

  • BarnRat

    I agree with Benny also. As much as I rant against Duda playing any position that involves grass (NO-OF, new acronym 🙂 ) I like the OBP and the power isn’t bad at 15 HRs in, what, 100 games? Give up something on D, but Duda/Satin isn’t a bad 1B. And I agree that Duda is a head case, but Ike is pretty much persuading me he is as well.

  • Agee’s Catch

    For about 5 seconds. The injuries stopped that train of thought pretty quickly. I’m not saying Rosario and Smith will derail, but they have the potential to be fast movers. And historically, most of the really good players hit the show quickly.

  • Taskmaster4450

    I think Ike is traded then.

    I dont see Alderson keeping Ike (or anyone) and letting them walk in FA. He is, I believe, adopting the Rays model, where he unloads players before they hit FA.

    If Ike does well this season, he will bring back a very good prospect or two.

  • Benny

    He’s very entertaining to say the least…

  • Agee’s Catch

    I see Ike potentially as a more complete player. I see Jacobs and Duda through a similar lens.

  • Mario Caraballo

    Best option we have until hes replaced. Duda is more of a pinch hitter. Ike has the best glove.

  • Agee’s Catch

    Feels good to shake off the cobwebs.

  • Taskmaster4450

    Of course, there is the potential. And I would prefer to have guys like that in the system as opposed to not having them. But there are many things which can derail the progress on the way to Flushing. Until a guy gets to AA and succeeds, it is all conjecture. That is where the separation seems to take place. Rosario and Smith perform in Bingy, then you have something.

  • Agee’s Catch

    I agree. Davis is potentiality the best option. Duda is still an enigma. If he was a plus defender, this conversation would go a lot differently.

  • Taskmaster4450

    Certainly they are hanging onto the 32 HR season. That is all Ike really has to hang his hat on.

    Again, if Ike loses some HRs but improves BA and OBP while hitting a ton of 2Bs, that will be terrific production. In fact, I would prefer 20 HRs and .270+ from Ike over 30+ HRs and a .225 BA.

  • Taskmaster4450

    It doesnt matter because neither him nor Duda would be facing lefties.

    Satin is going to take those ABs.

  • oleosmirf

    What’s the harm in giving him one last chance to show if he can be that player? Are we going to miss the playoffs because of it or something?

  • Agee’s Catch

    Well maybe….
    It also comes down to player development. If Davis falters, you cut him and move onto the next candidate.

  • Hodges14

    Seems the Mets have that attitude for multiple players every spring. I’m thinking that’s contributing to the fact that the major league team has made no progress to get better.

  • SCarton12

    He is so bad against lefties, they PH for him, so yes it does matter.

  • Hodges14

    I see Ike as a player who has been given infinite chances by his team and has failed to take advantage of these opportunities.

  • oleosmirf

    due to the fact that there is nothing in the system or the money available to bring someone in.

  • Hodges14

    Was it ever definitively confirmed that Ike had Valley Fever? I read lots of articles speculating that he did have Valley Fever but I don’t recall ever reading anything that confirmed it.

  • Agee’s Catch

    This is really the last chance. if he’s hitting .190 on May 1, he’s gone.

  • Taskmaster4450

    So no Satin. I guess you prefer Ike flailing away against Lefties all year with his sub .200 BA.

  • Fast Eddie

    Good article. The stats confirm what my eyes told me last July-August: Ike Davis became much more selective at the plate after he returned from Las Vegas. The biggest eye-opener was in the category of strike-outs: Davis’ Ks dropped from 73 to 28 while his BBs went up from 25 to 32. The rest of his offensive numbers also improved dramatically.

    The problem is that Ike cannot continue his recent pattern of snoozing his way through the first half of every season. Ike has to produce, starting with his first AB of the spring. And BTW, it’s not a question of his unorthodox swing, featuring a very noticeable hitch. It appears that Ike has simplified the hitch so as to get his hands more quickly into position to swing. Timing is everything when it comes to hitting. The art of pitching is in upsetting the hitter’s timing (Warren Spahn).

    Okay, Ike. Start hitting or be gone.

    Veloz (Fast Eddie in SC)

  • Taskmaster4450

    And Duda, as bad as he was, if given 600 ABs, would have hit 28 HRs.

    So what is your point?

  • WilponsStinkLessNow

    I still don’t understand why they didn’t let him play full-time after he came back from the minor leagues. I mean the point of the demotion was to work on his swing. But once he came back, he never got to face left handed pitching. How does that make sense?

  • Agee’s Catch

    Having successfully beaten this post to a disfigured mess, it’s off to the next post! I love MMO!

  • 2aSupport

    LOL, Stonehenge!!!!!

  • DrDooby

    Ike is one of the “Wild Cards” on the Mets projected roster along with Chris Young and Jennry Mejia (if he wins the 5th spot). These 3 could be anywhere between non-factors and impact players and could be worth an extra 5+ wins that aren´t accounted for so far.

    We have a good idea about what to expect from Niese, Colon, Gee, Wright, Murphy, Granderson and even Tejada (not much). It´s also reasonable to expect at least solid production from Wheeler & d´Arnaud – even with their lack of track record. Sure, they may exceed expectations or fall short. But in either case, at least league average production seems very realistic.

    But Ike, CY and Mejia could be all over the map. Just like one can imagine Ike & CY combining for 30 HR together in fulltime roles, they could easily combine for 60 HR as well, without having to be overly optimistic. Mejia could make 3 starts just like he could make 30 starts. Both scenarios are realistic.

    Not expecting much from 1b, CY and Mejia, the Mets project to be a .500 team under normal circumstances. If these 3 do really well, this team could absolutely contend. Not likely but possible.

  • jdon48

    wow. short term memory loss. best option? a sub-.200 hitter the last few years? maybe the most upside, but upside can be fantasy land.

  • Taskmaster4450

    It can be debated until the cow’s come home, Davis versus Duda.

    The simple fact is Davis is Collin’s favorite hence he will be given every single opportunity to keep the job. Like it or not, this is the reality of how the Mets are run with Collins at the helm.

    Ike will be at 1B and EYJ will be in the OF somewhere.

  • Benny

    I’m afraid you may be right…sigh.

  • 2aSupport

    And who would that be?

  • Hodges14

    Keep in mind that Ike’s so called “breakout season” produced a WAR of less than 1.0. It’s one of the most over rated seasons in Mets history. Dave Kingman was subject of constant ridicule for putting up similar seasons as a Met’s player.

  • Hodges14

    It’s especially hard to hit 32 homeruns and post a 0.9 WAR in the same season.

  • Hodges14

    Davis has already faltered. Multiple times.

  • Hodges14

    Is it really, really the last chance? As opposed to last year which was the last chance?

  • Hodges14

    It’s all part of the “plan”. Don’t worry if the team loses 90 games this year. The results are not important.

  • Hodges14

    I don’t think it would be that difficult to find a player who can produce .205/.326/.334/.661 within the Mets budget.

  • Hodges14

    Mike Jacobs produced 32/90 also. 2 years later he was more or less out of the league.

  • Agee’s Catch

    I think he bought himself a second chance with his post Vegas performance.

  • Hodges14

    2nd chance? He’s burned through way more than 2 chances.

  • Joey D.

    Hi Mitch,

    As always, one needs to rely on you for the tremendous insight that we need to know about what one can possibly expect from players based on what one sees with their mechanics and follow through. Not with advanced metrics – or even the stats that you used to confirm what we all saw in 2013 – that Ike was a better hitter after being recalled – but as to why and if one can expect that to continue.

    The important information we needed to know and which your provided to us was that his second half success was due to a tweak not with his swing or that he has an up and down hand movement while setting himself up for the pitch, but rather the need to cut that distance down.

    Mitch, if I’m correct, a while back despite you did suggest that despite the good second that he still needed more work to correct this problem because you to often saw his timing being off enough to be exploited as a weakness by opposing pitchers (please excuse me if I’m not properly paraphrasing what you had said for I’m not the pro you are) .

    Now as spring training has arrived, you’re noticing from the video that drop in hands has become even less dramatic – a move in the right direction. This does give us hope, however, we will have to wait and see if it is enough once the games begin. And as we know that’s not the only problem, of course. There is Ike’s own confidence level, if he can deal with the circumstances of playing in the Met organization and the local media and if starting afresh somewhere else might be as important to him regaining his success as it would be cutting down the distance he takes in his hand movement.

    That’s what we need more discussion about so we can really understand the game – not the numbers because they are not points of explanation as they are good points of reference.

    Came across this from Hardball Times which I agree with except for the description of those who look at the stats as “nerdy looking 20-something kids with glasses”. That is not what I feel about Connor, for example. Do not think of Connor as a “nerd” at all – and more important, he is only 16 and not 20 something. LOL

    http://www.hardballtimes.com/tht-live/competing-religions-of-baseball/

  • Captain America

    Benny I would truly appreciate if you refrain from commenting to me. Thank you.

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    Don’t know if that person exists in the organization. Duda can hit 20-25.

  • Captain America

    Hopefully that is the last time.

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    You really think it’s Collins and not Alderson keeping Ike on this team? I have a hard time thinking Collins WANTS to have BOTH Ike and Duda, juggling two struggling players every season. I bet he’d rather have them pick one and stick with it so he can stop having to waste a roster spot on them.

    I love that opinions of Collins range from “puppet” to “at the helm.”

  • Destry

    Valley Fever is a fungus in the lungs that can live from 2-20 years. Can turn a 20 year old body into a 50 year old body in a matter of months

  • Destry

    Yes. Confirmed fungus in lungs

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments
  • Destry

    Check out connor jacksons story. Tough disease

  • Captain America

    As Mitch stated 30 home run seasons are very rare these days

  • Captain America

    I want Morales

  • Biggle Boy

    Joe D,
    I, too, appreciated Mitch’s article. And I’ve been able to see Adam Rubin’s video of Ike’s new swing in ST. The thing I wonder about is when Ike came back from Vegas last year, his hands were at waist level. He brought them back as the pitcher delivered, and then swung the bat. He made more frequent contact that way, but with less power.

    I wonder if Mitch thinks that by Ike holding his hands at shoulder level, bringing his hands back, and then swinging, if he’ll be able to generate power once again, along with more frequent contact?

  • somedude718

    I think batting him 6th is best, if they are actually going to bat CY 5th. It keeps the righty/lefty pattern going, which can be handy late in games and in series, and is the perfect message to send: “You’re in the middle of our lineup, but you haven’t earned the ‘power-threat’ spot, yet. Go out and get it”

  • metsman

    Most players who are as horrible as Davis get the hook before they get to 30 home runs; all that number is is a reminder of how far he has been shoved down our throats. This is Jason Bay all over again, except Jason Bay earned his money by actually having a good career before he sucked the life out of our team. Ike Davis has done nothing to deserve the degree of support, and unlimited opportunity. I can’t stand all these pictures of him glued to Wright in camp; he knows just how to create the superficial perception that he belongs in Collin’s eyes.

  • Destry

    Duda .240/.370/.465 vs RHP 12 HRs 225 ABs in 2013. Crushes RHP

  • Destry

    .205 9 HRs signed Ike Davis

  • Hodges14

    You’re missing the point. He’s homegrown, therefore he’s a future hall of famer. The numbers are inconsequential. Don’t judge Ike with your eyes, don’t judge Ike with any logic. Just be happy to know that he’s homegrown and because of that he cannot fail. lol.

  • CJM

    He hit 32 HRs 2 years ago but I’d hardly call it a breakout year. He sucked even WITH the 32 HRs. He is not clearly the best option, by any means. The competition should be wide open.

  • Hodges14

    But it was a solid 9 Hrs.

  • Hodges14

    You don’t think the 0.9 WAR he put up that year is worthy of all the praise hahaha?

  • Andrew Herbst

    I don’t see how it clear’s Ike is our best option at 1st.

  • CJM

    Exactly. People see HRs and are blinded. His OPS with those 32 HRs was just .771. It’s actually really impressive, in a dubious way, to hit 30+ HRs and have an OPS below .800.

  • Just_Da_damaja

    defensively when he is right, he is light years beyond anyone else we have or anyone else available

    offensively, when he is right, he is one of the best young 1B in the NL

    its all a debate on whether he can get right with us.

  • Hodges14

    Gives Niese a headstart towards his annual trip to the DL. It’s all good.

  • Biggle Boy

    I think you’re point about Ike having a long leash because he’s “homegrown” is correct. I’d just add one adjective: “Their First Round Pick”. Teams give their 1st round picks more chances.

  • Hodges14

    Lots of first rounders turn out to be busts. I think I recall the Mets selecting Steve Chilcott(sp) ahead of Reggie Jackson in the draft?

  • metsman

    Did you hear the fire in his belly when he was yelling at Puma? That’s gritty old school stuff the way he said he sucked, I bet Collins got a semi hearing his special little lion roar. “You made it sound like an excuse” Ike’s phoney outrage makes me laugh, I’m sure he’s devistated that his cheer core has yet another excuse FOR HIM.

  • Hodges14

    When was the last time he was “right”?

  • metsman

    He’s had “more” chances than most prospects get. Enough is enough.

  • Hodges14

    So based on that and what you said above it seems like even more reason that the Mets should find a new first baseman.

  • Biggle Boy

    Agreed. First Rounders can certainly be busts. I just mean that the psychology of human nature plays into management giving their top pick more chances.

  • metsman

    I agree, if he were Wright than he might actually be good.

  • metsman

    Is that what scouts do nowadays? Cherry pick small segments of a guy’s play and make the assertion that if they can just be like this all the time then they are the best in the league? That’s not getting “right”, that’s being a completely different ball player that is actually good. Consistency cannot be removed from the equation or it’s meaningless.

  • 2aSupport

    I don’t think it does exist internally. And duda has always allegedly had that potential, but never manageto stay on the field, or be consistent. I really don’t have any faith in Duda. At all…

  • metsman

    Psychology is for fans…there are a lot of suits getting paid a lot of dollars to use more precise metrics and means of evaluation.

  • 2aSupport

    Fungus in his Lungus….

  • Andrew Herbst

    The problem is Ike has not been right in a long time.

  • Biggle Boy

    If they saw enough in Ike to make him their #1 Pick, then they will give him this extra chance to produce. We fans may not agree, but it’s that simple.

  • Joey D.

    Hi Biggle Boy,

    You’ll have to ask Mitch that question – I have no idea.

    Better yet – ask Sandy since he believes numbers tells more about a player than conventional wisdom. Or maybe this is why the Mets have been unable to make a decision about Ike – the answers not being found in the numbers? If so, that means even though he is gracious enough to acknowledge that conventional wisdom is not always wrong perhaps his indecisiveness is because “As soon as someone says he has a ‘gut feeling’ about something, I start worrying,”?
    https://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/new-york-mets-sandy-alderson-modern-business-baseball/

  • Mario Caraballo

    he was horrible because of the pressure. ike had a previous ankle injury, valley fever and supposedly was hurt last year. now he is healthy lets see what he does if he sucks then get rid of him. when ike first came up he was awesome. lets see how he does. let him play. ike when he first came up was better than duda now. of course alot of excuses for ike i know but lets let him play. first injury or sickness or he sucks then thats it over! get rid of him. but i rather have someone else than duda satin no more platooning.

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    I wish they had cut them both and signed Morales, but that’s just me

  • Just_Da_damaja

    there are more segments of good play than bad.

    2010 – good
    2011 – good til he ran into Mr. Wright
    2012 – bad 1st half – good 2nd half
    2013 – bad 1st half – good 2nd half

    so who’s really cherry picking ?

  • Just_Da_damaja

    thats BS.

    Lucas Duda was a late round pick and he got chance after chance….

  • EzRider

    I just hope Ike CAN get the power stroke back. All the other nonsense aside i really do think Ike is the best option at this time for 1st Base. When he’s going well he is a top defensive 1st bagger, so i’d be really happy with an average around .250/25HR out of the 6 hole. I honestly believe that SS is the single biggest concern this team has, especially if Flores can’t stick.

  • Biggle Boy

    OK, Joe D. I’ll pose my question as a new comment, to Mitch. Thanks.

  • Biggle Boy

    I’m with you there, EZ.

  • Biggle Boy

    Hi Mitch,

    I’ve now been able to see Adam Rubin’s video of Ike’s new swing in ST.
    The thing I wonder about is when Ike came back from Vegas last year, his
    hands were at waist level. He brought them back as the pitcher
    delivered, and then swung the bat. He made more frequent contact that
    way, but with less power.

    I wonder if you think that by Ike holding his hands at shoulder
    level, bringing his hands back, and then swinging, if he’ll be able to
    generate power once again, along with more frequent contact?

  • RS

    How much of Ike’s 2nd half success can be attributed to his unsustainable BAbip?

  • Martin

    What about the second half last year when he was scorching?

  • SCarton12

    Because his stats against LHP are putrid. Half the pitchers on the team had better numbers against LHP.

  • Andrew Herbst

    He still ended up hitting only .227.

  • Joey D.

    Hi EzRider
    This team has so many holes that one cannot point a finger at which one is actually the biggest concern. But my own thought is shortstop – though a big concern – being the least of our four problems.
    If Ike can get his act together, then the concern shifts to a left handed hitter to compliment CY in left (is Duda the answer with his defense and passive plate approach?). With those settled, we can then IMHO put less emphasis on Lagares’ weak hitting and focus on what he does with the glove. Shortstop then can be the weak link – and most every team plays with that one weak link in the field or perhaps two in the lineup.
    But if Ike doesn’t, then the concern shifts more to first along with that left handed hitting outfielder. For let us say, even if we signed Drew, would Stephen in the lineup leading off compensate keeping Juan’s weak bat in the lineup with only three other proven everyday hitters in Murphy, Wright and Granderson (CY makes five only against lefties and Travis still has to prove what he is capable of).
    Other organizations in mid to big market areas could address more of these issues at the same time but Sterling Mets apparently only has enough resources to address one of them. I have a bit more hope in Davis after reading what Mitch had to say – though I hope there is not an attitude or New York problem to deal with instead. I think CY was not the answer but only a partial answer for 2014 unless Duda is more in the plan than we think.

  • NewYorkMammoths

    “2011 – good til he ran into Mr. Wright”

    — Another thing to blame on Pelfrey — failing to assign the ball to a fielder.

  • Martin

    Correct, because of the poor first half. That’s why I said the second half, when he was terrific.

  • Joey D.

    Hi Biggle Boy,

    This is what RotoChamp thinks Ike will do this coming season. They too are like Sandy, for they say “We don’t give ‘gut’ projections on players. All of our predictions use mathematical algorithms that look at key player performance indicators based on historical performace”.

    http://rotochamp.com/baseball/Player.aspx?MLBAMID=477195&PlayerType=Hitter

    Seems to be in line with other saber sites as well.

    http://www.fantasypros.com/mlb/projections/ike-davis.php

    Be interesting to see what finishes up in October should Ike get his at bats. Also during the season to hear the comments if he is struggling with his swing or not from Keith and Ron.

  • oleosmirf

    You are absolutely correct, but the idea is that Ike has the potential to exceed the .771 OPS and even if Ike only puts up a .771 OPS, isn’t that not better than the other options in camp? His career .797 OPS is far higher than anyone else we have.

    Again, who in camp is capable of exceeding that number? Lucas Duda might, which is why he and Ike are competing for the job, but at the end of the Ike is the “favorite” because he’s done it before.

    Wilmer Flores might one day exceed that OPS, but he’s not going to do that as a rookie. He’s still developing and hasn’t tapped into his power yet. His OPS is likey to be around .700 as a rookie, not .800

    Daniel Murphy has put up two consecutive seasons of a .734 OPS. His only other full season in the majors, he had a .740 OPS, which means we can predict with reasonable certainty he’ll be in the .730-.740 range again, far below what Ike or Duda are capable of.

    Murphy might be the safest option, but the Mets aren’t good enough to play it safe. Their ONLY way of competing is with that .800 OPS potential and that’s something only Davis and Duda can provide.

    That is why Ike and Duda are getting another chance instead of cutting them loose for the safe option.

  • WillisReid

    At this point, even the best case scenario would be that Ike Davis is the best option at 1B for the New York Mets v. RHP. And I’m not even sure that’s accurate.

  • mad met

    Ive never been a big ike fan ..as i dont like strike outs or unproductive outs..with that said i real hope he wins the job and i think he will..

  • Endy10

    Well who would you put there then? Duda?

    Ike’s not the best, but he’s the best we’ve got (or he at least has the best track record)

  • oleosmirf

    but it would be impossible for the Mets to get a 1B who produced a .771 OPS (like he did in 2012) without spending a significant amount of money.

    That’s why he’s here. Murphy can’t do it, nor can Flores, nor can Satin or anyone else the Mets can throw out there other than Duda.

  • CJM

    Ike seems to be the favorite going in–I agree with that. But the article’s author states that Ike is the best option for first base, and that’s not really a clear cut case, like the author suggests.

  • Hodges14

    On cue… Adam Rubin is reporting that Niese is off to NY for an MRI for a sore shoulder.

  • Andrew Herbst

    He was, but we need to see more consistency from Ike.

  • Pedro’s Rooster

    Maybe cherry picking isn’t the exact term. How about “ignoring a substantial body of contrary evidence”?

    Saying, “he hit well in these separate samples, thus he’s the answer” makes no more sense than saying “he didn’t hit in these samples, thus he’s not the answer.”

    Dude’s still a question mark, no matter how many articles people want to write.

  • Pedro’s Rooster

    Great response. I really appreciated the reasoning and logic, my friend.

  • Pedro’s Rooster

    Downvote.

  • Pedro’s Rooster

    And that’s why we shouldn’t be trading away our pitching chicks before they hatch.

  • Martin

    True, and the dude below makes a great point. Even when ike was hitting hr he was super terrible. He has to play like he did the second half last year immediately this year, or lose his job permanently, because he really has never been very good, except for the injury year and recent second half. Duda is better.

  • Martin

    Yeah but the bad halves are bad that they make the whole year terrible. 2013 as a whole was awful.

  • Matlack

    I don’t see how it’s “clear”. It’s possible that Ike will become the best option. Unless you’ve made the determination already that Ike is fixed, it’s quite unclear, actually. Ike was barely above league-average offensively last year even vs. opposite-handed pitchers.

  • Andrew Herbst

    Yep. He has to play the way he did in the 2nd 1/2 of last year. I think Duda has to be given more opportunities at 1st.

  • Hodges14

    Or conversely it’s why they should have traded Niese when the opportunity was there.

  • Ted Danson

    You can make excuses for Ike , cherry pick stats, forgo the eye test all you want. He is not the answer for 1st. Hes been given ever chance possible to prove his worth. Time for the Mets to stop wiping this guys you know what and give Duda the vote of confidence for once and see what happens.

  • $14435385

    Ike Davis couldn’t hit .280 if you counted batting practice. He’s just not that kind of hitter. Can he hit 40 doubles and 30 home runs? Maybe. Hit .280? Not a chance with his swing and approach against MLB pitching.

  • Ted Danson

    After hes demoted this season for stinking it up he’ll come back up from Vegas hit a double to left field then get an injury missing the rest of the season yet you’ll hear in the off season how he “deserves” another shot because ” he was raking” in August.

  • Just_Da_damaja

    question mark ?
    of course

    so is any player who signs to play in NY

    for example, I like Jose Abreau’s potential, but im not sure with this team and this media if he wouldnt get ripped to shreds.

  • nutsac

    just for the record – the official roster sheet they give out at practice at camp has duda listed as a,,,,,,,,,wait for it …………. OUTFIELDER!

  • moo

    — He also delivered the pitch that led to the pop-up thus leading to a collision

    #BlamePelf

  • oleosmirf

    agreed. He is the favorite though

  • DKNOKOZ

    I wouldn’t say its clear, but I have to agree. At least he lets Murphy cheat a little more up the middle and makes the right-side of the infield more defensively sound. I just can’t imagine how much our pitchers are going to struggle with Tejada, Murphy and Duda manning 3/4 of the infield.

  • Destry

    The 2012 version hit .225 with a .305 OBP, which is awful.

  • Destry

    I accidentally typed that the 1st time

  • mad met

    How about florez at ss as well

  • yonkersmets

    I can’t disagree with that.

  • BronxMets

    Once again someone gets happy about meaningless at bats after the Mets are eliminated in July. Seriously….

  • BronxMets

    He wasn’t scorching and those games when the mets are out of it pitchers are just throwing it across the plate. Just like his 30 hr season it’s meaningless. He will not even be hitting .200 on June 1st

  • BronxMets

    Second half performance on steam that is out of it is really meaningless. Appoint pitchers are trying to just get the game over.

  • Can we just let the best guy win?? That’s all I ask.

  • NeedNewOwners

    Let Davis prove it on the field. I think he is a head case in a city and on a team that does not nurture head cases. He will reach his best potential elsewhere, most likely. If the clown Alderson played it better, we may have gotten something for him.

  • Destry

    Duda and Satin will produce above average numbers for 1B

  • LongTimeFan1

    I’m tired of this prima dona. Trade him.

  • DKNOKOZ

    I rather stick Flores out there and integrate Tejada in late in games (assuming Tejada can get his defensive act together). Sort of a platoon at SS, get Flores 400-450 AB’s this year between SS, 2B, DH and a few games at 3B. Let him start 3-4 games a week. Either way though, IMO, our defense, and subsequently our pitching staff, struggles more if Duda is our everyday 1B.