Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Predicting a big season for Ike Davis
By David Schoenfield
Quick, who's the second-best first baseman in the National League behind Joey Votto?
After Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder defected to the American League last year, the ranks of Senior Circuit first sackers took a hit, but a young group of sluggers appears ready to emerge: Anthony Rizzo of the Cubs, Paul Goldschmidt of the Diamondbacks and Ike Davis of the Mets (you also have Brandon Belt of the Giants and Yonder Alonso of the Padres). Davis is the veteran of that group, having reached the majors in 2010.
Mark Simon has a good post up on Davis, who hit .227 but with 32 home runs last season, and how he needs to improve against left-handed pitchers. He hit .295 against lefties as a rookie in 2010 but just .174 in 2012.
Davis' power is obvious, but I have a feeling he's going to put up better numbers across this board, after hitting .255/.346/.542 in the second half. Citi Field seemed to get in his head a bit last year as well, as he hit .262 and slugged .566 on the road but .188 and .342 at home.
If Davis can make the adjustments Mark alludes to, he can salvage his approach against lefties and boost his numbers.
I like his chances to do that and won't be surprised to see a batting line similar to what he posted in the second half. And that may make him the answer to the question.