Could Ike Davis Be New York Mets' X-Factor In 2014?

By andrewcohen
Ike Davis
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets have been crystal clear about their intentions with Ike Davis this winter: Sandy Alderson has no problem trading away the first basemen, but only if the return is significant.

So far, Alderson has not seen a deal he’s deemed worthy of giving up the Mets’ 2009 first-round pick for. With Spring Training fast approaching, all signs are pointing to Davis getting the first crack at the Mets’ starting first base job on opening day. Is it possible that Alderson’s high price tag and subsequent inability to complete a deal involving Davis is a blessing in disguise?

Fans have all heard the comparisons made between Davis and Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis. Though comparing a guy who just hit .205 while being demoted to triple-A mid-season to the league’s third-place finisher in the AL MVP voting in 2013 might be a bit of a stretch, there is reason for the association between the two.

Chris Davis, like Ike Davis, was a highly regarded young first base prospect. In 2009, he hit .238 in 113 games; in 2010, he hit just .192 in 45 games. In both years, he spent prolonged stints in triple-A. It wasn’t until 2012, as a member of the Orioles, that he truly turned into the mammoth that he is today.

Maybe it was the change of scenery that allowed Chris to reach his full potential. Maybe it was him maturing. Maybe it was a combination of the two, and maybe it was neither. Regardless of the reason, a highly-regarded, left-handed hitting first-base prospect, who had struggled mightily suddenly became a massive threat at the plate.

There’s no question that Ike Davis has talent — he was a first round draft pick for a reason, and is not that far removed from his 30 HR, 90 RBI 2012 campaign. Even if Ike will never be a guy who hits .300, if he can emulate Chris Davis’ turnaround to an extent, the Mets’ 2014 lineup will be a lot more dangerous.

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