The ever-changing batting stance of Ike Davis

After 10 games this season, Ike Davis has a .128/.244/.205 slash line.  Those who want to focus on the positive will point out that he’s doing an excellent job with a 13.3 BB/9 and how nobody can look good when they possess a .154 BABIP, which will certainly go up in the weeks and months ahead.

Also, Davis had a .139/.205/.306 slash line after 10 games last year and he recovered to hit 32 HR and drive in 90 runs.

Still, it’s hard not to be frustrated by Davis’ slow start and one can’t help but wonder why he abandoned the batting stance he had so much success with in the second half of last season.  Let’s look at three screen captures of Davis in the batter’s box.  The first one is from April of 2012.

Here, Davis is standing almost straight up in the box.  Pitchers pounded him on the outside part of the plate, particularly with breaking stuff that left Davis mostly helpless.  Compare this early stance to what Davis used at the end of the year.  This one is from September of 2012.

Instead of being upright, Davis has a very noticeable crouch to his stance.  He also appears to be more spread out in the box.  And his hands have moved from being near his uniform number to being up by his face.  This was the September 24th game against the Pirates, the one where he hit two homers, the second one which gave him his 30th HR of the season.

The last two months of the season, where Davis was using this batting stance, he had an .894 OPS despite a .278 BABIP.  He had 12 HR and 41 Ks in 210 PA, easily his best extended stretch of the 2012 season.

It would seem like a no-brainer to carry that stance into the 2013 season.  But a look at the last screen capture, taken during Matt Harvey’s gem against the Twins, and we can see that this is simply not the case.

He’s not as straight up and down as he was in April of 2012 but his hands are now completely over his head and he appears to be further away from the plate compared to last September.

This is a bottom-line business and right now the results are just not in for this latest stance.  Davis deserves a little while for his luck to even out but hopefully if he continues to struggle, Davis will switch back to the stance he had so much success with the last two months of the 2012 season.

9 comments for “The ever-changing batting stance of Ike Davis

  1. Metsense
    April 17, 2013 at 8:09 am

    Once again Ike Davis is off to a slow start. This inconsistancy is reducing his value. It is important in 2013 that Davis, as well as Duda, put up good offensive numbers. This is necessary because either Duda or Davis should be traded by the start of the 2014 season. Duda is not an OF. If both players perform to their potential and also hit lefties (so as not to be labled platoon players) then the Mets will be able to shop both and choose the best return. The goal would be putting together a package deal to obtain a good hitting corner outfielder that can play defense. If either one doesn’t play to their potential then by 2014 it would be time for the organization to move on. Competitive teams don’t rely on potential, they rely on results.
    The visual graphic proves your point better than words, Brian. I hope Ike reads Mets 360.

    • Joe Vasile
      April 17, 2013 at 11:46 pm

      Last year he had Valley Fever, a sickness that has completely derailed the careers of players in the past, most recently Conor Jackson, and this year he has had a whopping .167 BABIP through 12 games. 12 GAMES! Can we at least wait until May before we start calling for him to be traded? Battling a debilitating disease last year, and a super small sample size this year, let’s calm down here and wait for more than 2 weeks of games to have been played before we start crucifying him for getting off to slow starts twice in his career. If I remember correctly, he got off to quite the hot start in 2011 and when he was called up in 2010. We have to have a longer memory than just 2 years.

      • Metsense
        April 18, 2013 at 8:07 am

        Joe, similar to your post about trading Murphy, I believe the Mets will be a better all round team when they replace Duda in the OF. In order to do that, they have to trade Duda or move him to first and trade Davis. Davis is off to a slow start but a few hits can change all that. This winter this matter should be resolved. Good pitching can be negated by poor defense.

  2. Chris F
    April 17, 2013 at 10:24 am

    Ever changing stances, never changing results. He’s either here to play or its time to think of other options. I honestly cant tell if he’s the problem or part of the solution for this team.

    • Joe Vasile
      April 17, 2013 at 11:53 pm

      Valley Fever last year, when he finally got over that he hit well.

      He’s played 12 games this year and has a BABIP that is unsustainable because of things like the very nature of BABIP, it’s Normal Distribution around the .300 range, and the fact that it is literally impossible for him to finish a season with a BABIP of .167. It will improve. Davis will improve.

      He is part of the long term solution, and (fingers crossed) will be a nice complimentary player in the middle of the lineup on some playoff teams in the not-so-distant future.

  3. April 17, 2013 at 8:06 pm

    I remember last year at some point late in the season he said something about his intention to go back to his old stance. Inconceivable!

    Another thing to point out, as Keith did at a game earlier this week I believe, is how ridiculously far he is standing from the plate right now. You can actually see the difference in your last two images. So frustrating to watch.

    • Joe Vasile
      April 17, 2013 at 11:35 pm

      I think his old stance would be the one from his rookie year, which is similar to the one in September.

  4. Frank
    April 18, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    Watching Ike right now, his hands are lower than in the picture shown, and he looks to be in the same crouch as late last year. Started with a groundout to second, but hopefully it leads to some more production.

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