We (don’t) like Ike

Am sitting here in Starbucks, speaking with Rob Massimi, the resident baseball head. Subject is Ike Davis, the Mets first baseman. We both agree—waaaaaaaaayyy overrated.


Rob says Ike will be DHing in Cleveland within three years. I concur. Guys like Davis are a dime a dozen. He’ll hit 20 home runs, drive in 80, strike out a lot while hitting .260. I asked Rob for a name, and he came up with a dandy—Erubiel Durazo. Davis is, indeed, the modern-day Durazo (minus the steroids suspicions. Which were enormous when E.D. bust onto the scene with Arizona).

Along these lines, when’s the last time the Mets produced a genuine Grade-A ballplayer? Scott Kazmir has been so-so. Mike Pelfrey—merely solid. Aaron Heilman? Journeyman. Daniel Murphy? Will spend the next 10 years drifting through Triple A. There was great hype for Lastings Milledge, who just wrapped up a .277-4 HR-34 RBI run with Pittsburgh. Blech. Truth is, David Wright and Jose Reyes—beacons of light for the ballclub—are also beacons of failure. They’re reminders of the last time anyone worth his weight passed through the system and into the majors.

That was a long time ago.

18 thoughts on “We (don’t) like Ike”

  1. Who’s doing the hyping? it’s certainly not on the same level as when Gregg Jeffries came up and was immediately label a future Hall of Famer, or for the pitching troika of Wilson, Pulsipher, and Isringhausen, all of whom were pretty much major busts. In fact, I can’t even say with absolute certainty that I have the names right, that’s how unmemorable they were.

    Davis is a “good little player.” I don’t think expectations are that high for him. He had a good season and was pretty high up there in most rookie categories. Come on, Jeff; you remind me of the scene in “Bull Durham” when Nook is happy about his inning and Crash criticizes him. Can’t you let Ike, and his fans, enjoy the moment?

  2. “Rob says Ike will be DHing in Cleveland within three years. I concur.”

    What an ignorant comment. Davis’ defense is one of his strongest assets. And, who’s hyping him anyway??

    This is such a stupid post. This is your “work”? Wow.

  3. This is really a strawman argument; as far as I can tell no one is over-hyping Davis so there is really no need for him to be brought back down to earth. My sense is that most Mets fans simply appreciated that the Mets drafted and promoted a pretty good hitter, who filled a much needed void (while making the league minimum), and actually had the patience to let him play through some inconsistency and slumps. But I’ll bite.

    First, as previously pointed out, Davis is by just about any measure a solid defensive first basemen, so the notion that he’s a just a few seasons away from DH’ing is just silly. Using your eyes, you can just tell he’s good. Keith Hernandez, a pretty good judge I would think, has mentioned numerous times throughout the year that he thinks Davis is a good first basemen. Some of the more advanced fielding metrics bear this out, as Davis led NL first basemen in +/- rating and Runs Saved this year.

    Second, as for Davis’s offense and the comparison to Durazo, well, I don’t know. Seems to me if you sat down and thought long and hard to come up with the worst possible comp to Davis, it might be Durazo. To begin with, as noted, Durazo could not field and Davis can field his position pretty well. More importantly, Durazo was a non-prospect “bought” by the Diamondbacks from some Mexican League team. I think Monterrey may have thrown in a prized fighting cock in the deal. He bounced around the minors for a while, got some limited big league time, but didn’t play his first full season until he was almost 30 years old. Conversely, Davis was a first round draft pick – – a pretty seasoned and highly touted college hitter – – who only spent one full season in the minors before getting the call to the bigs . . . and sticking. So while Durazo was almost 30 years old when he finally earned a full time gig, Davis earned his shot at only 23 and put up similar if not better numbers despite the huge age/experience gap.

    I have no idea what Davis is going to turn into. Could he be destined to max out at 20 HRs over a full season, while only driving in 80 and striking out a ton? Sure, I guess. But considering he just about hit those numbers in less than a full season as a 23 year old rookie in his first full season, I think the better money has him being something more than that, and something more than Durazo (although, I’d take Durazo’s 2004 season any day).

  4. What a dumb post Jeff. One for a rookie year those are good numbers and compared to other rookies are still good. How will he be DHing when when his D was rated very high this year? I’m not even a Mets fan and this irks me because this shows that you really do no real research, it shows a window into your writing, just make wild off the cuff thoughts and hope they stick.

  5. Would you bet money on a gold-glove caliber player being a DH in the AL in three years? I have 10k that says he doesn’t. Do your research Jeff. It’s bloggers like you that use the technology of the internet to make people dumber. I wasted two minutes of my life reading your abortion of an opinion and another three replying to it. Thanks.

  6. You do know that Ike was the best defensive first baseman in the NL this year, right?

    And he almost posted a .800 OPS as a rookie, that’s a great start.

  7. Wow, it has become the norm to bash anything Mets. Why are so many so hard on David Wright and now its Ike Davis? Come on people, Wright has proven to be a solid major leaguer and the face of the franchise. Ike just started and people find reasons to bash. We all can’t be Lou Gehrig out there. If Ike had made the team out of spring training, the Mets season would have been so different. At the very least an above .500 season. Okay, so thats not good enough, but lets face it, the Mets that were canned this week also effected the results in a negative way. Everyone should take the blame, but its not just one particular rookie and one all star third baseman. Yes folks, David Wright is an all star and perhaps with some time, Ike Davis will get there as well. Give it time folks and have faith. I like IKE and LETS GO METS!!!

  8. Erubiel Durazo? Yikes. However, Ruby has a World Series ring, so if Ike has Ruby’s career, 20 years from now, he’ll have his picture hanging in the concourse at Citi Field between 7 pictures of Jackie Robinson.

    I think he looks a little more like Paul Sorrento. Nothing remarkable, but a professional 1st baseman that hung around a long time and played on some winning clubs.

    Overhyped? Perhaps he is somewhat of a sentimental favorite among a the significantly Jewish Met fan base. I think all Met fans are glad to see someone other than a hobbled Delgado or AAAA players like Tatis or Jacobs on first. However, I don’t think anyone’s setting aside room on the generic black fence to retire #29.

  9. Good follow-ups. I made the comment before I had my morning coffee! Maybe Travis Lee would have been a better “off-the-cuff” rookie-season comparable (see baseball-refernce.com). If I recall, Travis Lee played pretty good defense.

    Ike had a nice showing in 2010 and was not a huge disappointment by any means. He still stands as one of the few bright spots in the Mets organization. I just think that the Mets need more right now. I would have liked to see more than 19 HR’s out of Davis in 601 plate appearances.

    Let’s look at some numbers: Ike Davis committed 9 errors in 146 games. While that’s not awful, it seems a little high for a first baseman. In comparison, that’s 2 more errors than Mark Teixiera committed in 2009(4) and 2010(3) combined! Maybe it is a little unfair to compare him right now to a Gold Glover??

    I hope the best for Ike Davis and the Mets. Right now he is somewhat over-rated.

  10. The Tuck Pendleton Machine

    “Let’s look at some numbers: Ike Davis committed 9 errors in 146 games. While that’s not awful, it seems a little high for a first baseman.”

    Which is why UZR and other metrics were invented. If, for instance, you have a smaller range and have less chances, then maybe (maybe!) you might not get as many errors.

    “Ike had a nice showing in 2010 and was not a huge disappointment by any means.”

    And you’re completely reversing your original stance here. If this post was merely an attempt to troll Mets fans, then that’s kind of a dick move. Those poor guys have had enough trauma in the last couple of years.

    What, pray tell, would have NOT been an underrated offensive season in yours and/or Rob’s eyes? .280/30 hrs/900 ops? .300/25 hrs/870 ops?

  11. What the heck is wrong with you, Jeff? Ike Davis OPS’d .791 as rookie with a plus glove. No one’s calling him an all star, but you don’t LIKE a cheap 23-year old average-or-better position player who fills a major team need? This article was trash!

  12. Davis posted a 3+ WAR season and played excellent defense. Overrated? You must have a different dictionary than the rest of us.

  13. Sorry, I have to pile on. The fact that you think he’ll soon be a DH shows that you either know very little about baseball or haven’t watch many Mets games this year. It’s just as absurd statement, especially from someone mocking his hitting skills.

  14. As a Mets fan, I am wildly thrilled by Ike Davis’ rookie year, and I’m not overrating him to say he’s a hall-of-famer or anything.

    His rookie numbers are comparable to Darryl Strawberry’s, and he’s a very good defensive first baseman, who has to field erratic throws from David Wright and Jose Reyes all the time.

    I think it’s fair to say you can look for improvement across the board from Davis, and given that, you can project him being a starting 1b for just about any team.

  15. Am sitting here with Rob Massimi, resident life coach, discussing Jeff Pearlman. We both agree – utter failure at discussing baseball and life in general.


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