Once a promising first baseman with serious slugging potential, Ike Davis started his journey towards becoming a pitcher with an impressive debut with the AZL Dodgers.
When Ike Davis debuted with the New York Mets in 2010, his early success at the plate pointed in the direction of a phenomenal career. Yet, when his rapid rise led to an even swifter decline, Davis now looks to the mound for redemption and the Los Angeles Dodgers for a second chance by turning his career around as a pitcher.
Initially, Davis lived up to his hype as the top prospect in the Mets farm system. By batting .265 with 19 home runs in 2010, he finished seventh for Rookie of the Year. His sweet swinging continued the following year until an ankle injury put him out for the season.
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Since then, Davis was never the same. Although he slugged 32 home runs in 2012, his batting average sunk to .227. Eventually, the Mets traded Davis to the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2014 and he spent the next two seasons between the New York Yankees, Texas Rangers and Oakland Athletics. He was released by the Yankees before signing with the Dodgers in January.
On Monday, Davis maintained the AZL Dodgers’ 8-5 lead by striking out the side in the sixth inning. According to Eric Longenhagen of FanGraphs, his velocity averaged between 88-92 mph in their 13-5 victory over the AZL Padres.
A pitcher’s past
Needless to say, Davis made the early stages of transitioning to the mound look incredibly easy, but he is not completely naive to the ways of pitching. During his time at Arizona State, Davis split time between first base, the outfield and pitching.
After Arizona State reached the College World Series his freshman year in 2007, Davis posted a 1.35 ERA in 6.2 innings pitched the following year. In his final collegiate season, Davis bragged a 2.25 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 24 innings pitched in relief. He even made two scoreless appearances–one inning each–in 2015 as a member of the Athletics.
However, it will take much more than three batters faced for Davis to regain his major league status, even if they all struck out. There’s no telling whether Davis will fade into the faces of the minor leagues or eventually return to New York in victorious fashion,
to Justin Turner and Daniel Murphy.