Davis #13 on BA EL Top 20

I apologize for the slow weekend around here. Duty forced to travel to New Orleans for one of my best friend’s bachelor parties. It was pretty damn awesome.  Every day spent in New Orleans or Las Vegas must take at least a year off my life expectancy. 
Anyway, Friday, Baseball America released their list of Eastern League Top 20 prospects.  Only 1B Ike Davis made the list. 

John Manuel, one of BA’s best, handled the writeups.  He had this to say about Ike Davis, who he ranked at #13:

….Whereas fellow Mets ’08 draftee Brad Holt stumbled in Binghamton, Davis thrived. He led the B-Mets with 13 homers in just 55 games before joining Team USA for the World Cup.

Davis has true plus power from the left side. He sells out to reach it at times, spinning off balls in an attempt to jerk the ball out of the park, and it costs him plate coverage. Lefthanders took advantage of that tendency, and he struck out 25 times in 71 at-bats against them (though he did his .262/.342/.465).

Davis isn’t afraid to go deep in counts and showed the ability to make adjustments. He has the bat speed to turn on good fastballs inside.

A potential plus defender at first base, Davis has good hands but needs a bit more focus with the glove. He has above-average arm strength—he pitched some at Arizona State—and got a brief trial in the outfield with Binghamton.

Davis’ L/R splits by OPS by level in 2009:

.             .vs LHP            .vs RHP

FSL         .509                 .992

EL           .807                 1.027

The point I’m trying to make is that he showed some progress against the southpaws over the course of the 2009 season.

Manuel also took chat questions about Josh Thole, RHP Brad Holt and SS Ruben Tejada. 

Michael (NY, NY): In hope of any good news, Mets fans are looking to the good season of Josh Thole. Was it his limited upside that left him off the list or is defense still too shaky at catcher to make a positive impression?

John Manuel: He’s just not a great profile. He’s just fringy defensively, fringy offensively because of the lack of power. … Thole is the all OBP, no power catcher. Scouts don’t seem to think that will work long-term, but scouts have been wrong before. The Mets sent Thole up to the majors as much to learn from Brian Schneider on the subtleties of catching and handling a pitching staff as they did any other reason. If we went 30 deep, Thole would have made it, but when I wrote up his report, he just sounded like less of a prospect than the other 25 or so that I wrote.

    Zach (Wilton, CT):
    What do you make of Brad Holt's struggles in Binghamton?

John Manuel: First full pro season, a little fatigue, and a little lesson in how to use his breaking ball. He can spin the breaking ball; one scout in particular who has read what we’ve written about Holt says the problem with his breaking ball isn’t that he doesn’t have one, it’s that he doesn’t command one. He didn’t throw it often in college because he didn’t have to; now, in Double-A, when he needed it, he couldn’t shorten it up and throw it for strikes to keep people honest on his fastball. He was in a lot of 2-0 and 3-1 counts and guys were sitting on his heat. That sounded eerily like Phil Humber, and that’s not a good sign. I like Holt so I hope he makes better adjustments next season.

By the way, Philip Humber is now a minor league free agent – this is not a flattering comparison.  Humber, who at the time he was drafted had a plus fastball, had a below average heater by the time he reached AAA. 

    Zach (Wilton, CT): What is your take on Ruben Tejada?

John Manuel: Definite 21-30 guy, would have made the top 30 if he just had one plus tool. He had a nice season, though, and I’m impressed with how well he grinds through a year. He had a poor April and then was solid the rest of the season. But again, he’s maybe a 55 runner according to the scouts I talked to, and the guys who liked him considered him fringy offensively with below-average power. The consensus was that he’s more of a utility guy as a result.

No question he has below average power.  He also hit .289/.351/.381 at age 19. 

There are 6 comments

  1. big baby

    phil humber is the only pitcher with a big fastball who couldn’t command his curveball? really? i don’t understand that at all, especially because humber’s arm melted. but yea, the first pitcher you think of when you hear a guy has trouble “owning” a curveball enough to control/command it is “phil humber?” bullshit.

    as for thole, “scouts have been wrong before.” yea. do they know what the average catcher in mlb baseball hits? a .700 OPS was about average last year (350 PA). a .350 OBP would be 7th best. ditto this year. if thole can hit .300/.350/.350, which is selling his ability a little short (career minor league: .292/.381/.377), that will be better than several catchers. and while his defense is clearly a work in progress, he’s had to have made serious strides to be somewhat competent in 2 years. he’ll never be a star, but there are a ton of mediocre catchers in baseball… and he can be one of them.

    and as for my baby tejada, he’ll show everyone. i would want the mets to give thought to having him play the OF this year too, to turn him into a super-sub like jerry hairston jr.

    1. garik16

      Methinks you’re over optimistic on our prospects.

      Particularly Tejada imo (Your Baby? rofl). Just not enough power there and he’s not a high enough OBP guy to compensate for that. And taking him away from the middle infield (where no-power is not terrible) to OF (where it IS not a good idea) is well….bad. Ruins all his value.

      But if he proves me wrong and you right, hey, i’ll gladly eat my words.

      1. big baby

        uhhh, i didn’t say make him an outfielder. i said, have him play the outfielder so he can be jerry hairston jr. if thinking ruben can be a useful utility player who can play MIF and OF positions means i’m massively overrating him, then…sure.

        he was 19 in AA. i think there’s room for growth in both his OBP and his power.

        shortstops who have worse than a 750 OPS: stephen drew, alexei ramirez, rafael furcal, jroll, theriot, guzman, peralta, andrus.

        and yes, ruben is my baby

  2. MrMustSeeTv

    The comparison to Phil Humber is pretty weak. Coming out of college Humber had two plus pitches – a fastball in the 92-94 mph range with good movement and a power curve which was his money pitch. Holt has never been accused of having a plus breaking pitch.

    Also, the fact that Humber lost velocity is not a sign of his “should have been” prospect status. Humber’s elbow basically exploded. He needed TJ surgery and was never the same. When he came back he fastball was slower and lacked the movement he was had and he was never able to regain his curve. I remember reading an article when he was traded that implied that he was scared to throw the curve because he felt that is what blew out his elbow. Holt on the other hand is a thrower not a pitcher. I still think he’ll end up a reliever but the comparison to Humber is weak.

    Holt is what Parnell is. A fastball pitcher with no much else that can be an asset in the pen eventually.

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