Will 2013 be a breakout year for the New York Mets first baseman Ike Davis? He was a first round pick of the team in 2008 and will turn 26 this spring. Valley Fever and lingering ankle problems slowed Davis down last spring, to put it mildly. He batted .185 in April and only improved to .201 by the All-Star Break. It took a lot of patience on the part of Terry Collins to avoid sending him down to the minors, but Collins’ faith in Davis slowly started to pay off later in the year. After June 11, he hit a rather impressive 27 HRs. Davis finished the season with 32 HRs, 90 RBI, and a .227 AVG.
On most fantasy baseball tip sheets this spring, Davis is showing up around the 17th or 18th ranked first baseman, depending on what assumptions are made about eligibility, for example, for players like David Ortiz. This means that you may have to make a choice between Ryan Howard, Paul Konerko, and Davis sometime in the middle rounds.
The Mets are pretty thin in the middle of their order, so wherever Davis bats, he’s not going to get a lot of protection. That was the same last year and he did manage to get those 32 dingers. One thing that might help his prospects is if the Mets could sign speedster Michael Bourn. If Davis gets a lot of ABs with Bourn on base, that would mean Davis would see fewer of those outside curves that he wiffed badly on a lot last season. This might help him improve his low AVG. But Davis would probably lose a foot race to Nick Foles; he hasn’t had a single stolen base in either of the past two seasons. So don’t expect to get many steals from him this year.
So here’s the bottom line. Take Davis if the Mets get a top tier leadoff batter and another solid middle of the lineup hitter. Otherwise, I’d pass on him.