Mar 21, 2016

Former Mets First Baseman: Ike Davis (2010-2014)

Isaac Benjamin "Ike" Davis was born on March 22, 1987, in Edina, Minnesota. His grandfather on his father's side was a paratrooper landing in France on D-Day. His mothers side of the family are of the Jewish faith & Lithuanian heritage. Many of his ancestors were killed during the Holocaust on his mother's side. 

His father, a Baptist is former MLB pitcher Ron Davis, who pitched eleven years most notably for the A.L. New York club & Minnesota Twins. In 1979 Ron Davis was 14-2 leading the A.L. in winning % (.875%). In 1981 Davis made the A.L. All Star team & pitched in the World Series loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers. 

After going to the Twins he saved over 20 games for four straight seasons, closing out his career with the Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers & San Francisco Giants finishing with a 47-53 record & 130 career saves. 

Ike Davis went to high school in Scottsdale Arizona leading his team to three straight State Championships. There he was still a pitcher going 23-0 while batting .447 also playing first base. He then attended the excellent baseball school at Arizona State University, where he was an immediate star player. As a freshman he was ranked second in the nation by Baseball America. He was voted a three time All Pac ten, & two time All American. Davis was still pitching in college throwing a 95 mph. fast ball, but his hitting was even better, as he finished his college career with a .353 batting average. In 2008 he was drafted in the first round (18th pick overall) by the New York Mets. 


He began in his minor league career with the A ball Brooklyn Cyclones batting .256 making the adjustment from college ball to the minor leagues. At this point he stopped pitching & became a full time position player. He went the whole season without hitting any HRs (58 games) later commenting it was his most embarrassing period as a ball player. 

 In 2009 he was promoted to the A ball St. Lucie Mets, where he hit .288 with seven HRs 17 doubles & 28 RBIs in 59 games. He was then moved up to AA Binghamton where he quickly hit 13 HRs with 14 doubles, batting .309 in just 288 at bats. He was named the Mets Organizational Player of the Year & he showed a lot of big league potential. He attended the Mets Spring Training of 2010, and got a lot of attention when he hit three HRs, lead all Mets batters with a .480 average & played a spectacular defense. 

He started out the 2010 season at AAA Buffalo, but after ten games he had two HRs & was batting .364 when he was promoted to the Mets big league club. The highly touted prospect arrived at Citi Field with a lot of fanfare & hype on April 19th in a game against the Chicago Cubs. Davis walked to the plate to a huge ovation as Mets fans were hungry to see the new hopeful home grown star of the future. 

Davis did not disappoint & singled in his first career at bat. On the evening he went 2-4, driving in his first run in the 7th nning with a single up the middle. In his first four games he had two multiple hit games & then Four days after his debut he hit his first career HR. It came against the Atlanta Braves, a monster shot onto the “Shea Bridge” in right center at Citi Field. Davis was batting .355 at the end of April, living up to the hype, although it was a concern if he could handle all the pressure put on him at such a young age. In just two short years he had played only 65 games above the AA level. 

In a season without too many highlights, Ike Davis quickly became a new Mets hero, “I like Ike” banners & t-shirts began to surface among Mets fans. On June 8th he hit a walk off HR against the San Diego Padres’ Edward Mujica. By the All Star break Davis had 11 HRs tying Benny Agbayani & second to only Ron Swoboda in 1965 for most HRs by a Mets rookie in the first half of a season. 


On August 18th his 14th inning sac fly in Houston scored Jose Reyes with the game winning run. His bat cooled off a bit as the season went on but he had a strong September. He hit HRs in back to back games at Wrigley Field, hitting three overall with seven walks & six RBIs in the first week of the month. On September 11th, he had a 7th inning bases loaded single driving his second & third runs of the game, leading New York to a 4-3 win against the Philadelphia Phillies. He had nine multiple hit games in September& raised his batting average twenty points for the season, ending a promising rookie year. 

Davis finished the year batting .264 with 19 HRs 33 doubles 72 walks, a .351 on base % & 71 RBIs, all second most figures ever put up by a Met in their rookie season. Davis also set a Mets rookie record for total bases (230) while tying Lee Mazzilli’s rookie record with 72 walks.

He also tied Ty Wigginton’s rookie record in extra base hits (53). Davis had 138 hits (4th most among Mets rookies all time) playing in 147 games. On the field he posted a .993 fielding %, with nine errors, making many spectacular plays throughout the year. He came in seventh in the Rookie of the Year voting & was named to Baseball America’s all rookie team. 

2011 began hopeful for Davis, through the first ten games of the year he had five multi hit games, drove in runs in all but one games & was batting .364. On the Mets second home stand of the year he hit HRs in three straight games while driving in runs in four straight games. In the month he hit five HRs drove in twenty runs & was batting .337. When the west coast teams rolled into Citi Field for an early May home stand, Davis hit HRs in two games. 

Then on May 10thth in Colorado, he collided with David Wright on a Troy Tulowitzki pop up, injuring his ankle. He was placed on the DL & Wright soon followed with a back injury. Davis' ankle did not heal well & an MRI revealed cartilage damage. Davis missed the rest of the 2011 season, in 36 games he hit seven HRs with eight doubles one triple, seven walks a .383 on base % & a .302 batting average. 


In 2012 Davis began slowly, going hitless in his first ten games. In mid April he hit HRs in back to back games, including a three run shot against the Braves, in a 6-1 Mets win in Atlanta. He finished the month batting just .185 and his hitting woes would continue, as he did not get over the .200 mark until June 30th. 

On June 10th Davis drove in a run during the subway series match ups, then drove in runs in four straight games. On June 12th he helped R.A. Dickey to his eleventh win of the season, with a grand slam HR in an interleague 5-0 win over the Orioles in Baltimore. 

On June 22nd he hit a three run HR off Andy Pettite at Citi Field, leading to a 6-4 Mets victory. On June 27th he hit another HR, driving in four runs in the Mets 17-1 debacle win over the Chicago Cubs. On July 7th he hit a two run HR off Jeff Samardzija, leading the Mets to a 3-1 win over the Cubs at Citi Field. On July 28th, Davis hit three solo HRs in a game the Mets would lose 6-3 at Arizona to the d-backs. 

It was the start of a horrible Mets second half of the season after a solid surprising first half. Davis was hitting more HRs, becoming one of the biggest HR threats in the NL in the second half of the year, hitting twenty HRs after the All Star break. 

 He was driving in runs although his batting average was still suffering from lack of consistent hits. In July he hit seven HRs the most productive power month of his season. On August 18th he hit a two run HR off the Nats Edwin Jackson, driving in both runs in a Jonathon Niese 2-0 shut out on his way to his tenth win. 

On August 26th Davis had another multi HR game, as he hit two solo shots leading to a 2-0 Mets win over the Astros. He continued his hot hitting, closing out the month with a three run HR in Miami, beating the Marlins 3-0 behind R.A. Dickey's seventeenth win. In September he hit seven more HRs, becoming the first Met since 2008 to reach the thirty HR mark. 

On September 24th, Ike had another multi HR game, as he reached the thirty HR mark,& drove in five of the Mets six runs helping Jenrry Mejia to his first win in two years, since his injury. 

 On September 27th, the day R.A. Dickey won his twentieth game, Davis added a solo HR in the second inning off the Pirates Kevin Correia. He closed out the year with another HR on the last day of the year in a 4-2 win over the Marlins in Florida.

On the season he led the club in HRs (32) was second to David Wright in RBIs (90) & runs scored (66). Davis only hit .227 with 26 doubles 61 walks & a .308 on base %. At first base he posted a .994% (5th in the NL) making eight errors (3rd in the NL). 

Trivia: Davis had been known to love the New York City night life, which did concern the Mets organization & made them unhappy at times.

In 2013 there were high expectations for Ike but he began the season with a terrible slump. But first in the second game of the season, he blasted a two run HR helping the Mets to an 8-4 win over the San Diego Padres. On April 19th he hit two HRs at Citi Field, driving in three runs as Matt Harvey beat Steven Strasbug & the Washington Nats 7-1.

He ended April with four HRs & did not hit another until June 2nd. By that time he was only batting .160 & many people were asking Manager Terry Collins how long he planned on sticking with Ike at first base. The manager had stuck by him, but by June 9th he was sent down to AAA Las Vegas for the next month to fine tune his hitting.  There he hit .293 with 7 HRs & 13 RBIs in 21 games.

Davis returned on July 5th & had a two hit, three RBI day at Milwaukee in a 12-5 Mets win. He did not hit a HR until July 26th, a three run shot in a 11-0 romp of the Nats in D.C. On July 29th, the Mets rallied for three runs in the top of the 7th inning in Miami, to beat the Marlins 6-5. Davis provided the winning RBI driving in Marlon Byrd with a double off AJ Ramos.

He missed all of September as injuries ended his season. In 103 games he hit just .205 not getting to the .200 level until August. He hit just 9 HRs with 14 doubles 33 RBIs a .326 on base % & 101 strike outs in 317 at bats.

Between the time he missed & with his hitting struggles, the Mets gave Josh Satin more playing time at first base. Satin did a fine job & with a healthy Lucas Duda, there was much competition for Davis at first base. Throughout the winter the Mets tried to shop Davis for some top young pitching. As Spring Training 2014 began, Davis was back in Mets camp, saying he was surprised he wasn't dealt, but he was happy to still be a Met. 

Davis was with Mets in their Opening Day line up, although it was announced Lucas Duda was the teams main first baseman. On April 12th Ike enjoyed his last moment of glory as a Met. He came in to pinch hit in the bottom of the 9th inning, with New York down 3-2 to the Cincinnati Reds. Davis stepped in & hit a grand slam walk off HR off the Reds JJ Hoover. It was an exciting game winner for Ike & the Mets fans.


But just 12 games into the season, Davis was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for pitcher Zack Thorton & a player to be named later.

In Pittsburgh for the rest of 2014 Davis would become the Bucs main first baseman, making nine errors there (2nd in the NL), hitting .235 with 10 HRs 18 doubles & 46 RBIs in 131 games.

At the end of the season he was designated for assignment & was purchased by the Oakland A's. He would only play in 74 games with Oakland going down with a season ending torn hip labrum in August. He hit 3 HRs with 20 RBIs batting .229 in 214 at bats. In April he pitched a perfect inning in a blow out game against the LA Angels.

After the season he signed a minor league deal with the Texas Rangers for 2016.

In his six year career he has played in 659 games batting .239 with 493 hits 81 HRs 117 doubles 290 RBIs 533 strike outs & a .332 on base %.

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