Ike Davis vs. Lucas Duda: Who Stays With New York Mets in 2014?
Out of all their priorities heading into the offseason, first base is at the top of the list for the New York Mets. They don’t necessarily need to bring in someone new as they have plenty of options from inside the organization.
If they choose to fill the position internally, it’ll likely be a platoon. Josh Satin will likely be the right-handed player, while the left-handed player in the platoon will either be Ike Davis or Lucas Duda. Between Davis and Duda, who will the Mets choose and who will likely be traded away?
Most scouts believe Duda is the better choice. Although he failed during his September audition at first base, many he believe he’s still developing as a major league hitter and capable of making adjustments. He also appears to be more comfortable at the plate when playing first base as opposed to the outfield, and before this past September, he saw little playing time at first base.
As for Davis, outside of a brief period of time following his promotion back to the big leagues after a stint in the minors, he has made few adjustments over the past two seasons. Although he drew a lot more walks in the second half of the season, he didn’t showcase the power he’s capable of providing.
Psychologically, Davis is a mess and staying in New York may not be what’s best for him. However, he is far superior to Duda defensively, which could be a factor.
There is no easy or obvious choice for the Mets when choosing between Duda and Davis, but there’s no point in the Mets keeping both of them. The lone caveat is that Duda still has options remaining, so he could be stashed in the minor leagues if the Mets want to keep Davis. However, they’ve seen enough out of both of them over the past few seasons to make a decision.
The best solution for the Mets would be to find a new first baseman from outside the organization, but that may not be possible. The next best solution would be to trade whichever has more value and keep the other one, but it may not be that simple either.
If pressed, Davis is the better one to keep for the Mets; his power is tantalizing and he’s a plus defender at first base. In a platoon with Satin, Davis would be in position to succeed against only right-handed pitchers.
Whatever the Mets end up doing at first base, it won’t be an easy choice, but it’ll be a fascinating decision to see which direction they go. It will also be a critical decision that will set the tone for the rest of their offseason.