It is yet to be determined whether Ike Davis or Lucas Duda will end up being the Mets' regular first baseman this season. One of the two may get traded over the next two months or both may remain Mets by spring training. If that is the case, they will probably compete in for the starting job this spring. As a result, this position is split in half for each player.
2014 Predicted Statistics: .250-.260 batting average, 25-30 doubles, 20-25 home runs, 80-100 RBI, 40-50 walks
Davis batted just .205 last season, with nine home runs and 33 RBI in 317 at-bats. Davis raised his 2012 .308 OBP to .326, thanks to a higher walk rate, but his slugging percentage fell from .462 to .334.
Davis got off to a very slow start and eventually was demoted in June for nearly a month. He hit slightly better after coming back, but late in August, he suffered a season-ending oblique injury. Davis hit 32 home runs and drove in 90 RBI in 2012—both career highs.
If Davis can find a way to get back to hitting the way he did in the second half of 2012, the Mets' offense will improve dramatically.
2014 Predicted Statistics: .250-.260 batting average, 25-30 doubles, 15-25 home runs, 70-80 RBI, 50-60 walks
Duda batted .223 with 15 home runs and 33 RBI in 318 at-bats in 2013. He was the starting left fielder until he was injured in June and replaced by Eric Young Jr. in left field for the rest of the season.
When Duda eventually returned in late August, it was as a first baseman. Originally, he was on the bench, but after Davis got hurt, Duda took over at first base for the rest of the season.
Duda is not as proven a hitter as Davis and has yet to really show his full potential for an extended period of time. On the flip side, Duda has already shown more patience at the plate than Davis and has proven that he at least has a decent eye at the plate.
That could definitely help him in having a higher OBP and OPS this season than Davis.