2011 FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT SLEEPER: IKE DAVIS 1B NEW YORK METS

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No doubt the first base position in fantasy baseball is the deepest in the game. Starting caliber one-sackers go about a dozen deep and so there are plenty to go around for all owners in your league. Due to the massive depth here however, I always find it a good idea to double dip here when it comes to your UTIL or CI spot as most of the players who inhabit this position offer above average power and RBI potential. One such player that could do a very nice job in those positions is the New York Mets’ Ike Davis who will begin his first full season with the team in a little more than a week. Davis was a late April call-up to the team and proceeded to hit 19 home runs with 71 RBI in 523 at-bats while hitting .264. It was one of the better rookie performances in fantasy baseball last season and so expectations are on the positive side when looking at what Davis can do for 2011. Lets dig into the numbers as we try and figure it out.

When one looks at Ike Davis, you see the prototypical slugger as he stand 6-4 and weighs 215 pounds. Davis has very good power that was evident from his early stages as a minor leaguer and so it was not a shock when he started hitting long balls upon his promotion to the club, despite the ballpark’s large dimensions. Really this is the easiest part of Davis’ game to analyze as he should threaten the 25 home run mark with the additional at-bats that he will get as a full-timer this season. That alone makes him more than worthy as a UTIL or CI option and the RBI that will come along with the dingers should settle in the high 80’s to low 90’s level as he is expected to bat in the cleanup spot with Carlos Beltran likely to be on the DL for the start of the season.

Next lets take a look at the batting average as Davis’ .264 mark last season as a little lower than you would like to have. A big reason for that lower mark was the fact Davis has a high strikeout rate which he showed with 138 K’s in those 523 at-bats. As a young hitter, Davis is surely going to have issues with the K’s again this season and so expecting him to hit anything better than .275 is going to be a stretch. It could be possible but not likely. So despite the home runs, the lag in batting average will keep Davis from being in the groupings of the upper level first baseman.

All in all, Ike Davis is a very solid sleeper to own for 2011 fantasy baseball who can easily exceed expectations with his big bat. The home runs will be there with the RBI and if he cuts down the strikeouts some, an average that is useful is also possible which would make him that much more valuable. His draft price is incredibly cheap and he may even be available on your waiver wire. Check now and snatch him up if he is as Davis will easily supply positive value considering what you got him for. Again this is how you win at fantasy baseball by investing guys on the rise such as Davis so don’t hesitate to make the addition.

2011 PROJECTION: .271 BA 71 R 24 HR 88 RBI 4 SB