Sure, Ike Davis makes league minimum and Jason Bay will have around $65 million in the bank by the end of his current deal, but that doesn’t have anything to do with the dues Davis owes Bay for providing his newfound protection. Aside from the Mets winning seven of their last ten games since April 21 (coincidentally when Bay returned), Ike Davis too has seen a noticeably grand spike in his own stats.
Prior to Bay’s return, Davis posted a .290/.378/.522 line with 3 home-runs, 6 extra-base hits, 16 RBI, and 9 runs-scored in 82 plate appearances. Without a doubt, Davis was already hitting the ball extremely well before Bay came back. However, Davis has been even better in the ten games Bay has batted ahead of him in the lineup.
The left-handed first baseman has posted a monstrous .359/.409/.744 line with 4 home-runs, 3 extra-base hits, 8 RBI, and 9 runs-scored in 36 plate appearances. Instead of having to hit fifth behind Beltran, Davis now has the luxury of hitting sixth behind Bay. Over the last ten games, opposing pitchers have had to make a conscious decision to pitch to either long-time slugger Jason Bay, or second-year newbie Ike Davis–instead of previously pitching around Davis to get to god-knows-who. Even though Davis has been the better of the two hitters in 2011, Davis’ dominance will have to continue for teams to adjust.
In general, Davis has been a significantly better hitter in 2011 than he was in 2010. Surface stats aside, the young lefty’s peripherals* have been impressive. Davis is swinging at less pitches outside the strike-zone (22.2% versus 27.3%) yet making more contact with them when he does swing (68.6% versus 60.1%), and more of his fly-balls have left the park (15.6% versus 12.0%).
However, his spike in pitches seen inside the zone (44.6% versus 39.4%), which has resulted in better overall stats, can be attributed to Jason Bay’s presence. If Jason Bay had still yet to pick-up a bat this season, Ike Davis might have just been super-human in 2011, as opposed to his current incredibly awesome super-human status.
(*all taken from FanGraphs)
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