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mets countdown

Mets Countdown: No. 15, Ike Davis

The start of the baseball season is less than a month away. Every weekday until opening day, we'll be counting down, from No. 20 to No. 1, the most important Mets players for the upcoming 2010 slate. Today, No. 15, first baseman Ike Davis.

The son of former big-league reliever Ron Davis, Ike was the Mets' first pick of the 2008 draft. (They gave him a $1.575 million signing bonus.) He struggled at his first stop, with the Cyclones down in Coney Island, but he's hammered the ball since then. He hit thirteen homers in 233 plate appearances in Binghamton last season, and he'll open the year at Buffalo.

Probably. Davis has been smashing the ball all spring, and the Mets aren't exactly stacked at first base, with Daniel Murphy currently the underwhelming placeholder. He's a superior player to Murphy in almost every way, and the only reason he'll begin at Buffalo is because the Mets want a little more polish on him. But if Murphy starts slowly, which certainly seems possible, the calls for Davis to be brought up will be loud and plentiful. Davis will turn 23 next week, which means there isn't much more time to wait.

This is the best of several Mets prospects ready to break through to the big club, and unlike some of the others (Fernando Martinez, Josh Thole), it might not require a slow start by the team to install him in the everyday lineup. He's not blocked by anyone special, and if the team is floating around .500 in early May, Davis could be the spark the Mets are looking for. Davis is expected to be the Mets first baseman for a long time — the only question is when the Davis Era begins.

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Photo: Doug Benc/Getty Images