If Daniel Murphy was not nervous about his job as he packed his cleats and headed into Port St. Lucie last week, he should be a little more concerned now that Ike Davis is up and running.
Davis is seen as the first baseman of the future for the Mets, but he is looking to fast-track his route to Citi Field in an attempt to see time in the Major Leagues in 2010.
While it’s Murphy’s job to lose right now, Davis is certainly making a strong case for playing time—or at the very least an extended look—in the first week of training.
He went 2-for-3 with a hard-hit double and a run in his Spring Training debut against the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday. He was 1-for-2 against the Braves in Lake Buena Vista yesterday, and 1-for-1 with a grand slam home run, two walks, and a pair of runs today against the St. Louis Cardinals.
He has shown good plate discipline and a fast, powerful swing so far in Grapefruit League play. The blast he hit today cleared the right field wall, the picnic area, and a handful of palm trees at the very back of the field.
He’s made a couple of errors at first base, which is a little surprising considering he is highly touted as a left-handed glove man with quick hands and smooth defense. But, expect him to iron out those kinds of kinks as he plays more time in the field.
He came up on a ground ball a little too far today, allowing it to slip through the five hole. But, things like that will not be too problematic as long as he continues to handle the bat well.
His defense is relatively easy to fix, and he has shown he is definitely not overmatched by big-league pitching thus far.
He hit .298 with 20 home runs and 71 RBI in 114 games for A+ St Lucie and AA Binghamton in 2009. The early indication is that the hype surrounding the 22-year-old is for real.
You have to think that Murphy will be starting against the Florida Marlins on Apr. 5, but Davis is certainly playing himself into contention. He’s already made the jump from single-A Brooklyn Cyclones to the AA affiliate, and he’s not that far from taking his next big step towards Buffalo.
Is Davis the first baseman of the future? Well, the future may be here sooner than you think.