One of the toughest things in sports is knowing when to give up on a prospect. There’s always that hope that they will eventually figure it out. On the other hand, there is fear. What if the player never figures it out and you missed a chance to trade them for a decent prospect? Even worse, what if the player is traded and then suddenly figures it out?
You don’t want to be the team that trades the guy who just suddenly figures it out. This is the predicament the New York Mets are in with Ike Davis.
When Davis made his appearance in 2010, he became one of the team’s best players. Hitting 19 home runs and batting .264, Davis showed a lot of promise. However, all of that seemed to disappear. Last year, Davis only batted .205, striking out in nearly one-third of his plate appearances. Spending time in the minors didn’t seem to help.
Now Davis is the subject of rumors that could have him in Milwaukee. Trading Davis isn’t an easy decision, so let’s take a look at each side.
Keeping Davis makes sense because he will only be 27. Still at a young age, Davis is only two years removed from having success. In 2011, Davis only played in 36 games, but he did bat .302. And while he struggled in 2012, batting .227, his power only increased. Also that year, Davis kept his on-base percentage nearly 80 points higher than his average. It could be seen that 2012 became his sophomore slump, since 2011 was mostly missed. That doesn’t give much of an explanation for last year, where his production continued to drop, but it does look too early to give up on him.
Trading Davis can bring in a mid-level prospect or two that can help out the team more. In 2013, Davis couldn’t even be thought of as a power threat. His at-bats per home run more than doubled to 35.2. His walk rate saw an increase, but that can be contributed to lack of protection in the lineup.
The Mets don’t want to hold onto Davis for too long and have his value decrease even more. Having a slugging percentage under .340 and a WAR of just 0.2 doesn’t give much optimism.
As for what the Mets should do, a decision needs to be made before the season starts. If the team keeps him for the start of the season, but wants to trade him if there is no improvement, then Davis should be traded now. There is no reason to keep him if trading him two months of the season is the plan.
At that point, trying to get him straightened out should become priority. However, if Davis is kept and he gets off to a strong start to the season, a trade should be considered as you want to trade someone when their value is highest.
Keeping Davis is probably the way to go. This doesn’t mean he deserves to start or even a spot on the 25-man roster, but it looks to early to give up.
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