Ike Davis frustrates me. Unlike Lucas Duda who was drafted much later in the draft, expectations have always been really high for the first-round first baseman and for the most part I’ve wanted more from him than what he’s shown thus far.
I gave Davis a pass during last season’s first half, what with the Valley Fever and that whole ankle debacle, but what’s his excuse this time?
How long can we afford to continue to trot him out there, especially with a left-hander on the mound?
Three weeks ago I called him a platoon player at best. Some of you said it was too early to make such a judgement – small sample size and all.
Is anybody ready to join my bandwagon now or are you still seeing Ike as the power-hitting first baseman of the future even with every mighty whiff at those down and outside baseballs pitchers love to feed him?
Well guess what? I’ve got another shocker for you.
But maybe you should sit yourselves down for this one…
Given the incredible season by catcher Kevin Plawecki – by the way I told you to expect great things this season – I’m thinking some crazy thoughts. It will be sacrilege to most of you actually…
Amid all the hoopla of acquiring Travis d’Arnaud in the R.A. Dickey trade, it seemed the catcher who nobody could stop talking about a year ago, was suddenly rendered mute and was no longer in the team photo.
Meanwhile as D’Arnaud logs more and more time on the disabled list, a hobby he’s become quite adept at, all Plawecki keeps doing is fulfilling those high expectations that caused the Mets to select him in the first round out of Purdue in the first place.
Scouts see a solid defensive catcher with a .280 bat and a few .300 seasons in his future. They project his bat to be in the 15-20 home run range, but with the additional benefit of 30-40 doubles due to his gap power and ability to drive the ball to all fields. That would explain his league leading doubles totals. He’s an old-school backstop behind the dish and regarding those plays at the plate, he’s not afraid to take a hit and keep on ticking. Tough as steel.
What this organization needs more than anything is an outfielder. My solution? Send D’Arnaud to his fourth organization in three years to get one, sign John Buck on for another season until Plawecki can take over, and put Duda at first base until Jayce Boyd resumes his rightful place as the real first baseman of the Mets future. A first baseman cut right out of the same fabric as Keith Hernandez.
I don’t get into these fanboy attachments with players and prospects like so many Mets fans do. I want to win and do what’s right for the team more than any attachment to a singular player – even one as touted as D’Arnaud. He is suddenly looking more and more like a player who is too brittle to handle the rigors of being an everyday catcher in the majors. There were already some concerns about his ability to stick at catcher anyway, and that was before the Mets traded for him.
His apparent propensity for spending more time off the field than on it, already have the Mets contemplating a permanent ban to keep TDA from blocking the plate moving forward. A catcher not blocking the plate? Sorry, but give me the tough-as-nails Boilermaker Kevin Plawecki if that’s going to be the case, and let’s use TDA to get that power outfield bat we so desperately need right now.