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Is Ike Davis Really Mike Jacobs?

By Mike Silva ~ July 17th, 2010. Filed under: Mike Silva, New York Mets.

Herb Uzzi of ESPN down in Florida made called Ike Davis “Ike Jacobs” on Twitter this afternoon. It got me to wondering how Davis’s production is faring in comparison to Jacobs.

Going into tonight’s game Davis has put up a .252/.329/.426 which translate to a slightly above average hitter with an OPS+ of 103. If you project his numbers over the course of a 162 game schedule he is roughly going to give you 20 homers and 80 RBI and strikeout about 150 times. Jacobs best season to date was 2008 when he put up an OPS+ of 108, 32 homers, 93 RBI, and an OPS of .812. For his career Jacobs is just about league average offensively (OPS+ of 104) with a typical season that consists of a .250 batting average, 29 homers, and 90 RBI. Of course, much of that production came over a two year period (2007-2008) and Jacobs hasn’t been near that type of player in a while. Although I see Uzzi’s point, it’s unfair at this time to call Davis another Mike Jacobs for two reasons: defense and strike zone recognition.

Last night, Gary Cohen talked about how Davis feels his lack of base on balls is the reason for his recent slump. After walking 16 times in May, Davis has walked just 10 times in the six weeks since. Like any young player he needs to work the count in order to put himself in a position to accentuate his strength: punishing the fastball. The fact that Davis understands the concept already puts him ahead of Mike Jacobs, whose best OBP season was 2006 (.325) when he walked 45 times. To date Davis has walked 32 times. I suspect the recent offensive struggles are part of the maturation process of a young hitter.

The other difference is defense. Of course everyone wants to talk about his circus catches over the railing, but Davis has show good range and saved numerous throws with his soft hands on scoops. Advanced metrics support the eye test with a UZR/150 of 9.6. That puts him second in all of baseball behind Justin Morneau. Yes, Ike Davis is having a better defensive season than former gold glovers like Derrek Lee, Mark Teixeira, and Adrian Gonzalez. I understand this is a small sample size – no way am I suggesting Davis deserves the Gold Glove – but it puts his defensive prowess in perspective.

I could see where Davis is giving you much the type of offensive production that one would expect from Mike Jacobs. Where the difference lies is in upside, specifically his ability to work counts, and defense which will help the entire infield. Funny how David Wright‘s throws are less an issue since Davis has taken over at first base. There is room for improvement, but I am fine with the job Ike Davis is doing at first. I predict he will make us forget Jacobs short time as a productive big league player.

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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2 Responses to Is Ike Davis Really Mike Jacobs?

  1. Dan

    Ike Davis is a superior player to Mike Jacobs in Ike’s first taste of major league ball, after climbing FOUR levels in one calendar year. In two years, he has gone from a kid who was feeling for the ball in Brooklyn, finishing the season without a home run, to a rookie major leaguer with thirteen hime runs, all but three of which have traveled over four hundred feet.

    He has shown terrific baseball smarts, a capacity to learn, and the most power seen in Flushing since Strawberry. He bears on comparison to Jake.

  2. mike

    ike gets big hits. jacobs come on now.

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