Ike Davis seems primed for a big season if he can avoid:
- obscure, old-timey sounding diseases;
- cross-diamond collisions with David Wright; and
- big nights out on the town (just kidding)
If we are to take Ike at his word, the valley fever he contracted last spring training had more of an effect on him than initially reported (via Adam Rubin):
"I had to limit a lot of things last year as far as workload," Davis said. "I didn’t have a beer all of spring training last year. I went home and laid on the couch. And I usually fish for another six hours every day [after Mets workouts].
"I didn’t say anything to anybody, besides maybe the trainers."
Davis isn’t sure that precisely was valley fever, but added: "Well, I definitely had something."
It's not a stretch to think that the fever played a role in his horrific first half of the season in 2012, which saw him post a ghastly slash line of .170/.228/.296 with five home runs through May 31st. He found his stroke in June though, and broke out with 27 big dongs over the final four months of the season to finish with 32. No Mets player has hit that many home runs since Carlos Delgado crushed 38 in 2008. Ike's power is real and it's spectacular.
Ike displayed his defensive prowess in 2010 and 2011. Mets fans were treated to error-saving picks and circus catches of foul-ball pop-ups on a regular basis. His agility around the bag was impressive considering his tremendous size. However, coming off his season-ending ankle injury in 2011, Ike seemed a bit off defensively. I can't quite pinpoint it, but he appeared a step slower and less aggressive than in past seasons. Not awful but not Gold-Glove worthy. He recently commented on this, in the process providing reason to be optimistic about his glove (again via Adam Rubin):
Davis said he was unable to hop on one leg last spring training because of the residual effects of the ankle injury. Now, not only can he do that, but he feels a burst as he pushes off. Davis said he already feels a noticeable difference taking batting practice, which he described as an "explosion."
"It’s a whole different ballgame," Davis said.
He added: "I didn’t feel like myself. I wasn’t the same guy on the field. Obviously, you could tell. I didn’t do anything. When I play, I have the potential to make an impact. I just wasn’t doing anything to help."
Valley fever free? Check.
Ankle feeling good? Check.
Avoiding the night life? Undetermined.
Sounds like Ike is ready to hit a bunch of these this season (a classic via KeithsMoustache):
Then again, everyone is feeling great and ready to crush it this time of year. Ike is one of the few young position players on this team whose upside is well above just average. Despite his struggles against lefties, I think he puts it together this season. Home runs and defense, that's what Ike Davis does.
Post your Ike projection in the comments in the same format as below. I'll compare our projections to actual results at season's end.