At first glance, Ike Davis appears to be a disaster. He posted a .205/.326/.334 line this past year, and was sent back to the minor leagues before being brought up again. He’s being shopped for some reason by the Mets who for no apparent reason want either Corey Hart or Lucas Duda playing first base. If you listen to the podcast (and if you don’t, shame on you) you’d know that I’m driving the Ike Davis train at full speed. I love his potential as a high upside play on a team that is going nowhere at light speed.
Prior to 2013, Ike Davis was at least a serviceable first baseman. Davis posted a WAR over 1 in each of his first three seasons. One thing to notice in Davis’ offensive decline the past few years is his BABIP collapse. He posted BABIPs of .246 and .268 the last two seasons which I can’t expect to sustain. Citi Field is not a particularly good fit for Davis who hits a high number of fly balls, and Miller Park has posted above average home run rates over multiple years.
The biggest reason I’m high on Davis though is his comeback in the second half. I understand that it is using an arbitrary endpoint, but Davis posted a second half slash of .286/.449/.505 and a wRC+ of 174. He had eleven second half doubles after only having three in the first half. It is possible that this is a bit of of a fluke, but Davis has shown the ability to hit well at the Major League level before.
Since the Brewers appear to be going nowhere fast, taking a shot on a high upside player like Davis makes perfect sense. Let’s be honest, Corey Hart is very unlikely to make or break the Brewers in 2014. There’s also a very real chance that Ike Davis will be better than Corey Hart going forward in both the distant and immediate futures. Since the Brewers appear to not be contending in 2014, taking Hart over Davis is strictly sentimental. Good teams don’t do things sentimentally. There’s a reason that there are internet rumors abound linking Ike Davis to smart teams such as the Rays. He’s a great buy-low candidate that an organization appears to be pushing out the door much too fast. There is real upside in Davis that doesn’t exist with Corey Hart or other “safe” options. A team in the Brewers position should not be looking at safe options, but trying for upside, which Davis provides.