Ike Davis has had a short yet tumultuous career as a member of the New York Mets. For a period of time following his rookie year, it looked as though Davis would anchor first base for the Mets for a while. After his performance these past two years, however, the Mets will have a difficult decision to make this offseason on what to do with this promising-yet-befuddling player.
Ike is only 26 and is signed through 2017, so the Mets have given him many opportunities to prove himself. If Ike continues to improve upon his recent play, it would be difficult for the Mets to get rid of him. If he plays like he did in the first half of this season, however, the Mets might have to look into alternatives. Below is a list of players in the Mets organization that the Mets might consider to replace Ike.
Josh Satin (Age 28)
When Ike returned from his Pacific Coast League exile, he pushed his best friend Josh Satin out of the lineup. Satin, who had taken over for Ike when he was sent down, has played very well. In 120 plate appearances, he has a slash line of .296/.425/.429, which is much better than Ike’s .205/.325/.317 performance in 317 PA. Since he has played well in replacement of Ike before, the Mets probably would put more confidence in him than any other alternative.
Lucas Duda (Age 27)
The Dude had a decent start to the season in right field, where he was moved to accommodate Ike at first, fielding adequately and batting .235/.353/.438 in 269 plate appearances. Duda was placed on the DL on June 23, however, with an intercostal strain. With no space at the major league level, he was sent to the PCL after his rehab stint, where he is hitting .282/.446/.423 in 26 games (as of August 7th). Duda is probably in more trouble than Ike when it comes to having a job with the Mets. With the success the Mets have experienced playing a more athletic outfield of Eric Young Jr., Juan Lagares, and Marlon Byrd, it’s unlikely they’ll want to revert to Duda’s plodding play in left. Duda has lots of power and was doing better offensively than Ike, but the timing of his injury might lose him his job with the Mets.
Wilmer Flores (Age 22)
Flores was a touted prospect in the Mets organization for a while, but I think he has earned a spot with the team for the future in the six games he has played so far at the major league level. Playing a decent third base, Flores has hit .261/.320/.435 in 25 PA, and he has 1 HR and 9 RBI already. The problem is, there is already an incumbent at third (ya know, David Wright), and he’s pretty darn good. Manager Terry Collins said he’s “most likely he’s going to be on the corner” in the future, which, despite a start this week at second base to see his potential there, means he may be coming after Ike’s job. Although The Mullet might be one of the biggest long term threats to Ike’s job, Ike himself is an example of how rookie seasons can be misleading. Hopefully, Flores will be able to carve out a spot for himself somewhere in the infield- Ike just hopes it’s not at first.
Dominic Smith (Age 18)
The Mets first pick in this year’s draft, Smith is a power hitting first baseman out of California who is has a .375 slugging percentage and 3 HR with the Gulf Coast Mets of the Rookie League. The Mets selection of Smith seemed to be a direct slight to Ike Davis, who was sent down the following Sunday. Of course, any challenge that Smith poses to Ike is years down the road, but he is probably going to be a bigger long term threat to Davis’ job than Flores.
Some of the alternative players might be better than Ike at certain points, but I feel as though he has a lot of potential still. 2014 will be Ike’s age-27 season, which is the magic number for sluggers to kick their careers into shape. As the Mets look to contend a season or two down the line, they could use Ike in the field (where his glove has never faltered), the clubhouse, where a very friendly Ike is beloved, and, hopefully, the plate. With any luck, the Ike of the second half will be the Ike of the future, and the Ike of the future will be a mainstay for the Mets.