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Player Profile #117: Ike Davis | 1B | NYM

In both an injury-shortened 2011 season and a breakout 2012, Ike Davis has shown a lot of pop. What he hasn’t shown is the ability to hit for average. Or even the ability to consistently hit for any average.

In his three major league seasons, Davis has batted .264, .302, and .227. The .302 average came in a small, 36-game sample, and the .227 average came in his most recent season. Despite the serious shortcomings Davis had last year in the batting average department, I’d argue he’s more of a .270 hitter with a chance at a .280-.290 season.

Last year Davis increased his line drive rate to 21.1%, and even though his infield fly rate was higher than the league average at 11.8%, his batted ball profile suggests he should have posted a BABIP much higher than .246. Our xBABIP and xBA formulas confirm this, pegging Davis as exactly a .270 hitter last year on the strength of a .306 xBABIP.

117_ike_davis

At a Glance

  • Strengths: HR, RBI, OBP, SLG, OPS, BB
  • Neutral: R, BA
  • Weaknesses: SB

Player Comparisons

Ike Davis 2013 Fantasy Projection

I believe in Davis’ power, and he’s a slight fly ball hitter which should only help augment his homer numbers even if he can’t maintain that 21.1% HR/FB rate.

An increase in batting average — something that I’d label a near-certainty — will certainly help Davis increase his RBI totals, and there’s the distinct possibility that when September, 2013 has come and gone, Davis will be sitting pretty with a .280/30/100 fantasy line.

Davis is currently the 116th player off draft boards according to early MockDraftCentral.com mock results, so apparently people believe in Davis just as much as we do. Davis walks a lot, so in OBP leagues I’d give you the go-ahead to reach on him a little sooner as he has a chance at a .360 OBP this season. And if Davis can turn some of those tough outs into extra base hits, he should be a great contributor in SLG and OPS leagues, too.

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Updated: February 2, 2013 — 2:16 am
  • Fanthead

    Great use of evidence throughout this series. Much thanks!

    • http://www.baseballprof.com/ Bryan Curley

      We’re glad to be of help. Thanks for reading!

  • AJ_Leight

    27 home runs in just 3.5 months is pretty crazy. He’s admitted to being fatigued from Valley Fever in the beginning of ’12, and his bump in production as the year went on supports his claim. If that second half power is real, and he can string together a full year of baseball, he could approach 50 home runs. I’d say he’s just about as much of a lock for 30 as anyone else in the game, even if he’s forced to miss some time. Should be a fun year for Ike owners!

    • http://www.baseballprof.com/ Bryan Curley

      What do you mean 27 HR in 3.5 months? Last year he hit 32 HR in a full season and while he did admit to being fatigued, there’s not much room for growth with his 21.1% HR/FB rate. Almost no one goes higher than that on a yearly basis. In fact only Stanton (25.8), Napoli (23.1), Howard (22.3), Bautista (21.6), Morse (21.3), and Hamilton (21.1) have averaged a HR/FB of 21.1 over the last three years. I suppose in any given year these guys could go off for 40+, but projecting someone for a potential career year isn’t smart. Targeting them at a good spot in the draft because you recognize the potential for a career year is the way to go.

      That said, being trapped in the New England snow today actually made us reconsider Davis’ HR projection about 2 hours ago, and we bumped it to 30 in our draft guide.

      • AJ_Leight

        He openly admitted to being fatigued from Valley Fever at the beginning of the year. He hit 27 of his 32 HR after June 11th. So my point was that if he had a full season without the Valley Fever or ankle issues, he may be able to replicate what he did from June 11th on last year for an entire season in 2013.

        • http://www.baseballprof.com/ Bryan Curley

          Ah thanks for the clarification. I’m still wary, though. His HR/FB rate after the All-Star Break (so mid-July on) was 25.0%, and players just don’t do better than that on a consistent basis these days. Anyone can top that during a short stretch (one month, three months) but for a full season it’s almost impossible to not have at least one lull or one slump, and that’s what prevents players from having monster seasons. In a long baseball season there’s bound to be a period where he goes through a stretch of low fly ball rates or low HR/FB rates. The season trends tend to hold, though Davis has shown he can crush it with the best of them.

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