April 19, 2010
The Mets have the third-highest team payroll in the National League ($133 million), but they're next-to-last in runs scored (48). Thus it should come as no great surprise that the team is ready to shuffle the lineup.
On Sunday, following New York's 20-inning win over the Cardinals, the team designated first baseman Mike Jacobs(notes) for assignment, recalling relief pitcher Tobi Stoner(notes) as assistance for a depleted bullpen. But as soon as the Mets' relief corps recovers from its busy weekend, first base prospect Ike Davis(notes) could be headed to Citi Field to replace Jacobs.
The Newark Star-Ledger reports that it's practically a done deal:
…the Mets plan to call up Davis from Triple-A Buffalo sometime in the next several days — possibly as soon as Monday — according to a person familiar with the situation. When that will happen depends on how long the Mets need to carry 13 pitchers.
Davis was a first-round pick in the 2008 MLB Draft, and, after a rough beginning to his pro career at Single-A Brooklyn (58 games, zero homers), he seems to have figured out a few things. In 2009, he hit .298/.381/.524 with 20 homers and 31 doubles across two levels. Then he hit .341/.394/.565 over 21 games in the Arizona Fall League. And then he had a spectacular spring, batting .480 with three doubles and three homers in 12 games. Predictably, he's off to a terrific start at Triple-A Buffalo, hitting .364/.500/.636 with two homers in his first 10 games.
We may soon learn if Davis, 23, can make the transition to the big leagues. Strikeouts have been an issue (112 Ks in 488 plate appearances in '09); you can't reasonably expect Davis to immediately hit .300 against major league pitching. But there's power potential here. Daniel Murphy(notes) (right MCL sprain) is still weeks away from returning to New York, so Davis could get an extended trial.
For fantasy purposes, he's really a need-based add. Not many owners are desperately trying to fill a 1B, CI or Util spot this early in the season (except for Fred Wilpon). Davis offers no speed — he hasn't stolen a base in his minor league career — and of course there are many other widely available corner infielders who can deliver useful fantasy stats (Headley, Huff, LaRoche, Sanchez, Wigginton, et al). But prospects often make the best trade chips — especially East Coast prospects — so Davis will have fantasy relevance when he arrives.
Update, 2:45 pm CT: Well, that didn't take long. New York made the Davis move. Here's the official release from the Mets. Davis was scratched from Buffalo's lineup in the morning, and he'll be available to face Cubs starter Randy Wells(notes) on Monday night.
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