To be as clear as possible about this: Ike Davis is not Darryl Strawberry, or Doc Gooden, or Jason Heyward, or even Jenrry Mejia. Coming into the season, Davis was ranked by Baseball Prospectus as the 87th best prospect in baseball, fourth on his own team. As a comparison, Austin Jackson, whom the Yankees traded to the Tigers without so much as a cough, was ranked 49th. Ike Davis is not a world-beater, or a game-changer, or an elephant in the room, or an ace up the Mets’ sleeve. (Yeah, beat that sentence.) He has moderate power, is an upgrade at the position, and — this is what’s really important — he’s a dash of mystery and intrigue, a potential positive story for a team and season that desperately needs one. The Mets could use some good news. Ike Davis is a perfectly fine player, but right now he’s of more use to them as a theoretical construct.
Thus, there’s Ike on the cover of the Post, “IKE TAKES OFFICE,” as if this coronation will be what turns the Mets’ season around. In 2008, in Single A, Davis batted 238 times and didn’t hit a single homer. His power returned last year, but be not confused: This is far from a finished product. Davis struggles with left-handers and has played above Double A for about a week … last week in fact. This all happened rather quickly.
But who cares about that now? The Mets are beating the Cubs, Davis is getting his first hits and RBI (and looking at the commemorative baseball like someone gave him a puppy), and there is hope at Citi again. Is it overhype? Is the excitement over Davis misplaced, a projection of all anxieties and hurt on a young kid who might be here a little too quickly? Probably. That doesn’t mean it can’t still be fun, or that he’s still not better than anyone else the Mets would put at first base. This is why rookies exist, after all. The Mets and their fans have their new toy.