Ike Davis played first base and right field at Arizona State. But the Mets rookie also pitched. And he wasn’t too shabby, according to Cincinnati Reds right-hander Mike Leake, who played with Davis at the Pac-10 school.
“He usually came into jam situations and got us out of them,” said Leake, the eighth overall pick in last year’s draft, who limited the Mets to two runs (one earned) on four hits in six innings in Monday’s series opener. “Just a strike thrower. He went after them with his fastball and drops in a curve every once in a while. He was pretty good. He threw 93, 94 mph. That’s tough to hit in college.”
Davis, relayed the scouting report from Leake, indicated he actually threw a slider. And he wanted it to be known that his fastball actually has more velocity than Leake’s 88-92 mph range.
“Did you ask him who threw harder?” Davis asked.
Then, Davis added: “But he didn’t have to throw hard. He’s got so many different pitches.”
For the record, Davis’ career pitching numbers in three seasons at Arizona State: 7-5, 5.31 ERA, four saves and 78 strikeouts in 78 innings. His freshman year ERA in 14 appearances (12 starts) was 7.42, but he had a 1.35 ERA as a sophomore and 2.25 ERA as a junior.
Leake, by the way, went 40-6 with a 2.91 ERA and two saves in 63 appearances (47 starts) from 2007-09 with ASU.
Davis technically was 0-for-2 off Leake Monday, although he did reach on a line-drive two-base error to center field in the second inning.
“It was pretty cool, playing with him a couple of years ago and then finally getting to face each other,” Leake said.
As for Davis’ hitting ability in college, Leake said: “Just watching him hit was fun. I spent a lot of time on the bench when I didn’t pitch. I was able to watch him. It was impressive. He didn’t let a lot of pitches go by without making them pay.”