What would you say if I told you the Mets had a player who premiered at 23, put up an OPS just under .800, and followed it with two straight seasons of over .900 OPS, heading into his age 26 season? You’d be pretty excited about him, right?
Well, consider that Ike Davis fulfills that description, with a couple of major caveats.
Davis posted a .791 OPS in 2010, his rookie year. He jumped it to .925 in 2011. And since June 9, he’s at .277/.344/.578, good for a .922 OPS over 291 plate appearances. Full speed ahead, right?
Obviously, not exactly. His .925 OPS in 2011 came in just 36 games; he then missed the rest of the seasons with complications from getting stepped on by David Wright. And that .922 OPS in 2012 came after 201 plate appearances to start the season at a .507 OPS. Those appearances count, too.
But in trying to determine exactly who Ike Davis is heading into 2013, it is worth thinking beyond just an accumulation of his numbers. Consider that the 200 plate appearances from April through June 2012 came after Davis missed almost an entire year, plus saw him dealing with a diagnosis, if not effects from, Valley Fever as well.
If this seems like the typical set of surroundings Davis will face, then expecting more dips like his April-June looks reasonable. If not, then it is worh pointing out that he’s hit, and hit extremely well, in all other circumstances during his tenure as a Met, and can be expected to get even better as he enters his age-26 season.
Just as David Wright’s torrid first half has masked his second half drop quite a bit, Davis’ pedestrian 2012 totals have people overlooking just how good he’s been for three months. But if Davis can have a normal offseason, and keep up this pace starting next April, the other Met bat of note in 2012 won’t remain in the shadows for very long.