As you've no doubt heard by now, the Mets have a new first baseman, a kid named Ike Davis. This spring, Ephraim Fischbein asked Davis (among other things) to name his "most embarrassing professional moment."
Davis replied, "Not hitting one home run in my first professional season."
It's probably that power outage that caused Davis' status to drop quite a bit between getting drafted with the 18th overall pick in the 2008 draft and the beginning of his second professional season.
There were explanations, though. Baseball America:
- It's funny, this business ... Davis, a future power hitter? Yep. Last season, split between High-A and Double-A, Davis hit 20 home runs in just 114 games. Havens, quicker to the big leagues? Nope. Havens opened last season on the same team as Davis, but wasn't promoted to Double-A like Davis, missed seven weeks with injuries, and finished the season with a .247/.361/.422 line, which is fine for a young shortstop except this shortstop's going to play second base this season and might wind up somewhere even less demanding.
Havens remains a pretty good prospect, but he's obviously been lapped by Davis.
Perhaps I'm too conservative about these things, but I have to counsel against thinking Davis is going to set the National League ablaze from the get-go. At this point, his resume consists of an excellent college career, two outstanding months in the Double-A Eastern League, and 42 plate appearances in Triple-A. I think he's going to be a pretty good player. But I'm not sure he's ready to help the Mets win this year. Which might not be a realistic goal anyway.
After flashing power in college, Davis was slow to recover from a strained oblique muscle and failed to homer in 215 at-bats at Brooklyn after signing for $1.575 million. Still, the Mets regard Davis as a future power hitter. Davis needs to mature physically -- unlike Reese Havens, their other 2008 first-rounder, whom they feel will have a quicker route to the big leagues. He carried the pressure of being the Mets' top pick and pressed.