Ike Arrives

It was inevitable. After just two weeks, the Mets summoned hot shot prospect Ike Davis from the minors to replace Mike Jacobs, the last big power hitting prospect produced by their farm system. Davis had a fantastic big league debut, going 2-for-4 with a run driven in against the Cubbies last night, and the tabloids already have him pegged as the future of the franchise. That’s all well and good, but what does Davis’ arrival mean for fantasy owners?

Supposedly, Davis will play every day at least until the incumbent Daniel Murphy returns, which is good news. There’s no point in calling up your best prospect in April and playing him only sparingly (apparently they haven’t realized that with Jenrry Mejia yet). Davis mashed in the minors, with a .226 ISO and an 11.7 BB% between two levels last year, and he started off this season with a .364/.500/.636 performance in 42 Triple-A plate appearances.

His bane is lefty pitchers, and has been since his days at Arizona State (seriously, who had him beating college teammate and fellow 2008 first rounder Brett Wallace to majors?). Davis hit .267 (.369 BABIP) with a .110 ISO against southpaws in the minors, compared to .297 (.343 BABIP) with a .203 ISO vs. righties, though 191 and 478 at-bats aren’t the largest of sample sizes. He did hang in well to single off Sean Marshall last night, who fed him three curveballs and a slider.

CHONE forecasts a .231 batting average with 11 homers and 39 RBI for Davis in 114 games this year, while PECOTA’s 50th-percentile pegs him for almost the same: .231-11-41. That puts him in Casey Kotchman/Lyle Overbay territory, though Davis certainly offers the potential for more. My hunch is that he’s perform very well his first time through the league, but will start to come back down to earth once the book gets out. At that point he’d be a sell high candidate.

Davis was added to the player pool in Yahoo! leagues this morning, and chances are the Mets’ fan in your league already grabbed him. If not, he’s a worthy add for the bench if your first basemen are underperforming, or if you’re in an NL-only or deep mixed league. Just make sure you sit him against southpaws.

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Mike writes about the Yankees at River Ave. Blues and baseball in general at CBS Sports.

6 Responses to “Ike Arrives”

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  1. chris says:

    what kind of eventual upside do you see with ike? keith hernandez compared him to john olerud last nite and was wondering what are his top end projections? i am in a dynasty keeper league and was wondering if i should make a pitch for him through waivers

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    • Mike Axisa says:

      I don’t think the Olerud thing holds up at all. Davis strikes out a ton more, doesn’t walk nearly as much, and won’t hit for the same kind of average. He’ll hit for more power though. Davis is probably something like a .280-25-90 guy in his prime, similar to Adam LaRoche without the 1st half/2nd half splits.

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      • I don’t think Davis’ has 25 HR power (maybe at his peak) – especially as a lefty hitting at Citi. I believe Hernandez’ comparison to Olerud wasn’t that off and had as much to do with his supposedly fine defensive play, as it did with his hitting style. With the way he covers the plate, I see the similarities at bat.

        Sorry Mike. Sometimes ball players actually do know what they’re talking about – particularly Hernandez when speaking about first basemen. If you want similarity, check out Olerud’s ’90 rookie campaign: 13.5% BB and 20.9% K rates. Not too far off of Ike’s MiLB numbers.

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      • divakar says:

        3fingers… I think you underestimate Mr. Olerud. We’re talking Edgar Martinez/Will Clark territory with him.

        Olerud went straight to the majors from college, after obliterating college. He even had a brain aneurysm (hard hat!) his junior year and *still* went straight to the majors. By the time he was Davis’ age he was walking more than he was striking out, but already had around 1000 PA in the majors.

        Davis is a good prospect, and he could be very valuable. I have no doubt he’ll have power and be decently patient. In fact, there is reason to believe he could be better than Olerud at some point.

        But they are very different players at this point in their careers. For Davis to be an approximation of Olerud he has to (A) become more selective at the plate and (B) display his power consistently in the majors.

        He *could* do it, but he’s not on the level yet. I’m optimistic, though, that he’ll be quite good. I wish I’d added him my NL only league.

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  2. jrdo410 says:

    Uhh, maybe you haven’t seen Kotchman much this year.

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