Ike Davis’ progression critical for Mets’ 2013 success

One of the more intriguing storylines for the Mets’ last year was the up and down season Ike Davis had to endure.

It was a tale of two halves for Davis, for Davis was the Mets’ version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Davis, while overcoming an ankle injury he sustained in 2011 and then battling a bout of valley fever just prior to the start of the 2012 season, got off to a miserable start. And miserable is putting it nicely.

On June 8, Davis had an awful .158/.234/.273 slash line and an atrocious .507 OPS, which is a mark more reserved for backup middle infielders. On that date, Davis also had just five home runs and 21 RBI’s. Everyone felt Davis had lost his confidence and with his ongoing bout with valley fever, the sure answer to eventually get him going again was to demote him to Buffalo. But for whatever reason, Mets’ management took a hard stance and let Davis fix out his problems up in the big leagues.

Ultimately, Davis would snap out of his funk and end his season on a high note while collectively calming down both management and fans alike.

In his last 75 games of the year, Davis would slug 20 home runs while posting a respectable .542 slugging percentage. Davis would end up posting a .227/.308./.462 slash line at the end of the 2012 season while also bashing 32 home runs and driving in 90 runs. From where he was in mid-June, those are some pretty impressive numbers to end up with.

With all that said, the start of Davis’ 2013 season is of paramount importance to the Mets. The difference between having the “good” Ike Davis and the “bad” Ike Davis, will likely make all the difference in the world and whether or not the Mets could conceivably contend in 2013.  The Mets simply can’t sustain a stretch like that from Davis in 2013.

With the Mets trading away R.A. Dickey this winter, the Mets will have to put forth a better effort in putting more runs on the boards this year, as offense will come at more of a premium now that the Mets’ best pitcher is out of town. Davis, of course, will be one of the many players counted on to make a difference in that department. Along with David Wright, Davis has to have a consistent season for the Mets to have any shot at success in 2013.

It’s not just Davis’ bat that has to stay consistent this year; Davis also regressed defensively in 2012 and his fielding has to be top-notch once again. Davis has to take this off-season very seriously, as his production both offensively and defensively simply have to be at a higher level this year.

Considering that the Mets never really made any headway in shopping Davis this winter, he figures to be a centerpiece of the offense once again this year. Naturally, the market for guys like Lucas Duda and Daniel Murphy (who both could reasonably man first base if Davis was ever to be traded) was so bearish, that trading away Davis made little sense.

Not helping matters for Davis this past season was the fact that some in the media portrayed him as some party-going playboy who stayed out all night and one who lacked good work ethic. Davis vehemently denied any such accusations and said it was complete rubbish.

Hopefully, Davis is over his bout with valley fever and has wrinkled out any other perceived problems he had with management, and he could go about  just concentrating on being a better ball player.

So, what it all boils down to is: if he is healthy, motivated and locked in, Davis could have the year we’ve all been waiting for.

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5 comments for “Ike Davis’ progression critical for Mets’ 2013 success

  1. Metsense
    January 3, 2013 at 9:01 am

    In 2013 If Davis plays to his career numbers of 28 homeruns, 89 rbi’s and .797 OPS then the Mets would have a young, cost controlled , above average NL firstbaseman. (NL Avg: 22 HR, 89 RBI, .777 OPS) There is nothing wrong with that but there is potential for so much more. A gold glove, a HR title, and all-star birth are goals he should be striving for. I”ll settle for his career average and be content with the fact the Mets would not have a first base problem for the foreseeable future.

  2. JerryGrote
    January 3, 2013 at 9:47 am

    “considering that the Mets never made any headway”?? I don’t recall seeing anything to indicate that the Mets had interest in moving Davis.

  3. Name
    January 3, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    “The Mets simply can’t sustain a stretch like that from Davis in 2013″

    Remarkably, the Mets played their BEST baseball last year when Davis was absolutely terrible. That was pretty much the only thing that kept him in the majors last year.
    What does that say about baseball? Basicaly that one person can’t make or break a team.

    After seeing his results last season, i fully believe that his early season struggles were due to his valley fever problems.

  4. January 3, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    God help us(Duda or Murphy on first base). We finally have at first someone who can be there for the next five to ten years and people are constantly throwing his name in the trade winds.I have tried to remind those of you who don’t understand valley fever that it takes away your strength and is curable mainly with minimum activity and as much bed rest as possible. Length of time for recovery is 6 months to a year. Finally I see Ike’s critics consistently complaining about his skills diminishing and lack of hitting. What I don’t see are the names of the hitters who batted in the five hole this year. Ike protected David Wright’s bat. Who protected Ike’s? Jason Bay? I hope the Mets at least re-sign Scott Hairston and play him the entire season behind Ike otherwise…

  5. ronbo
    January 4, 2013 at 8:44 am

    Ike Davis is the only true every day power hitter the Mets currently have and is the corner stone for there development the idea floating around this off season that they would trade him is crazy.The Mets need to address the out field I had enough of watching Duda in right and thank goodness they cut Bay,resign Hairston and bring up Kirk N and Matt Den Decker in the spring and see if they are the answer we might be pleasntly surprised.

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