Future face of the franchise: Ike Davis

Rounding second on the list of NL 1B is Ike Davis

With Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder gone, Ike Davis’s stock relative to other first baseman in the NL has risen dramatically. According to Matthew Pouliot of Hardball Talk, Ike Davis is the 2nd best NL first baseman in terms of projected 2012 OPS. Here’s the top five:

Joey Votto .990

Ike Davis .864

Lance Berkman .860

Ryan Howard .850

Freddie Freeman .823

Bill James projects Davis to hit .288 with 25 home runs and 80 RBI in 141 games in 2012. Joe D of Metsmerized Online generously predicts Davis to hit .295 with 35 homers and 110 RBI.

I think those are two extremes. After the way Davis bursted into the spotlight early last season, I am sure he can finish a healthy 2012 campaign with more than 25 homers and 80 RBI; Bill James’ approximation is a little too conservative. On the flip side, Davis did only play in 36 games last year, and that is not a large enough sample size to put him up there with Joey Votto as an elite hitter; who is even hitting in front of Ike davis to get driven in for 110 RBI? If it means anything, I predict Davis to hit .290 with 30 HR and 90 RBI and be in the running for Breakout Player of the Year.

Another thing that Joe adds on MMO is that Ike Davis will be the future face of the New York Mets. I agree, with one condition: He needs to stay on the Mets in

Hopefully Ike doesn't end up leaving like Jose Reyes did.

order for him to be the face of the franchise. Ike Davis is still under team control through 2016 – five more seasons. The Wilpons have 5 years to get their acts together and reestablish financial flexibility in the organization or else sign him early long term. Otherwise, if Ike Davis’s stock rises high enough and the Mets think he will get too expensive, be it through arbitration or a new contract, Sandy Alderson may just trade him away.

But if Ike Davis does stay on the Mets, he will certainly be the face of the franchise should he ascend into the elite echelon of MLB first basemen.

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