- Adam Rubin, ESPNNewYork.com
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First baseman Ike Davis hit 19 homers in 523 at-bats in the majors during his rookie season -- plus another two in 10 games with Triple-A Buffalo before being summoned in mid-April for his major league debut.
New York Mets
Asked what his power potential is, Davis said: "I'd like to start with getting over 20, and then we can talk. Right now I want to get over 20. I think I can do that. ... I mean, I hit 19 last year, and I felt like I had a decent couple of months. But there were a couple of months where I just didn't show up very well."
This spring training will be very different for Davis, who turns 24 on March 22. A year ago, Daniel Murphy was poised to be the Opening Day first baseman before injuring his right knee in a rundown the final week of spring training. Mike Jacobs and Fernando Tatis then were tabbed as the platoon, but that fizzled and Davis made his major league debut April 19.
"It's a little different because people know who I am," Davis said about arriving at this year's spring training. "My teammates know who I am. I still have to work. I'm still getting ready for the season. It's not like I'm going to coast through spring training. I'm still here trying to do well, trying to figure out my swing, trying to figure out how to field groundballs. It's going to be the same in that aspect, except I have a better chance of making the team this year."
Davis arrived billed as an above-average defender, but he struggled in the field during spring training in 2010, committing four errors -- most among first basemen in either the Grapefruit or Cactus leagues. He explained that he thought he would be getting more work at first base before exhibition games began so he barely took grounders at home in Arizona before arriving in camp a year ago. This time, he arrived already having done considerable work at first base back home.
"Last offseason I thought from experiences in the minor leagues that I would have gotten more time to take groundballs and stuff before [Grapefruit League] games started," Davis said. "Obviously, I was wrong. And I had taken it one time in Arizona before I came here. This time, I took it a lot more. Hopefully I don't make as many errors as I did last year in spring training."
Terry Collins has Davis slotted sixth in the lineup, behind Jose Reyes, Angel Pagan, David Wright, Carlos Beltran and Jason Bay.
"That sounds perfect," Davis said. "As long as I'm in the lineup."
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