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Ike Davis

Ike Davis

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Isaac Benjamin "Ike" Davis (born March 22, 1987, in Edina, Minnesota
Edina, Minnesota
Edina is a city in Hennepin County, Minnesota, United States, and a first-ring suburb situated immediately southwest of Minneapolis. Edina began as a small farming and milling community in the 1860s. The population was 47,941 at the 2010 census.-Geography:...

) is a Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball in the United States and Canada, consisting of teams that play in the National League and the American League...

 first baseman
First baseman
First base, or 1B, is the first of four stations on a baseball diamond which must be touched in succession by a baserunner in order to score a run for that player's team...

 for the New York Mets
New York Mets
The New York Mets are a professional baseball team based in the borough of Queens in New York City, New York. They belong to Major League Baseball's National League East Division. One of baseball's first expansion teams, the Mets were founded in 1962 to replace New York's departed National League...

. He and his father Ron Davis, who pitched in the majors for 11 years, are the 197th father-son combination to have both played in the major leagues.

He led his high school team to three straight Arizona
Arizona
Arizona ; is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the western United States and the mountain west. The capital and largest city is Phoenix...

 state championships, as a pitcher
Pitcher
In baseball, the pitcher is the player who throwsthe baseball from the pitcher's mound toward the catcher to begin each play, with the goal of retiring a batter, who attempts to either make contact with the pitched ball or draw a walk. In the numbering system used to record defensive plays, the...

/first baseman
First baseman
First base, or 1B, is the first of four stations on a baseball diamond which must be touched in succession by a baserunner in order to score a run for that player's team...

. He bat
Bat
Bats are mammals of the order Chiroptera "hand" and pteron "wing") whose forelimbs form webbed wings, making them the only mammals naturally capable of true and sustained flight. By contrast, other mammals said to fly, such as flying squirrels, gliding possums, and colugos, glide rather than fly,...

ted .447 in high school. On the mound he was 23–0, with a 1.85 earned run average
Earned run average
In baseball statistics, earned run average is the mean of earned runs given up by a pitcher per nine innings pitched. It is determined by dividing the number of earned runs allowed by the number of innings pitched and multiplying by nine...

 (ERA) and 14 saves. He also pitched for the gold medal-winning U.S.A. Youth National Team in the 2003 World Youth Championships, and was the MVP of the 2004 AFLAC
Aflac
Aflac Incorporated is the largest provider of supplemental insurance in the United States, founded in 1955 and based in Columbus, Georgia. In the United States, Aflac underwrites a wide range of insurance policies, but is perhaps more known for its payroll deduction insurance coverage, which pays...

 All-American High School Baseball Classic.

Ranked second in the nation as a freshman for Arizona State University
Arizona State University
Arizona State University is a public research university located in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area of the State of Arizona...

 by both Baseball America
Baseball America
Baseball America is a magazine which covers baseball at every level, with a particular focus on up-and-coming players in high school, college, Japan, and the minor leagues. It is currently published in the form of a bi-weekly newspaper, five annual reference book titles, a weekly podcast, and a...

and Collegiate Baseball, he was named Pac-10 Conference Freshman of the Year, as he became the first freshman ever to lead the conference in RBIs. He hit .353 with a .605 slugging percentage in college, sported a fastball
Fastball
The fastball is the most common type of pitch in baseball. Some "power pitchers," such as Nolan Ryan and Roger Clemens, have thrown it at speeds of 95–106 mph and up to 108.1 mph , relying purely on speed to prevent the ball from being hit...

 that touched 94 miles per hour when he was on the mound, and was a two-time All-American and a three-time All-Pac-10 selection.

Davis was drafted 18th overall in the 1st round of the 2008 Major League Baseball Draft
2008 Major League Baseball Draft
The 2008 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft continued Major League Baseball's annual amateur draft of high school and college baseball players, and was held on June 5 and 6, 2008.-First round selections:* Did not sign...

. In the minors he batted .288 with a .371 on base percentage
On base percentage
In baseball statistics, on-base percentage is a measure of how often a batter reaches base for any reason other than a fielding error, fielder's choice, dropped/uncaught third strike, fielder's obstruction, or catcher's interference In baseball statistics, on-base percentage (OBP) (sometimes...

 (OBP) and a .467 slugging percentage, and was the Mets 2009 Organizational Player of the Year. The Mets called him up to the majors in April 2010. His 11 home run
Home run
In baseball, a home run is scored when the ball is hit in such a way that the batter is able to reach home safely in one play without any errors being committed by the defensive team in the process...

s prior to the All Star break that season tied him for the second-most ever by a Mets rookie. He set the Mets rookie record for total bases (230), and tied the Mets rookie records for walk
WALK
WALK may refer to:*WALK , a radio station licensed to East Patchogue, New York, United States*WALK-FM, a radio station licensed to Patchogue, New York, United States...

s (72) and extra-base hits (53). He was named the first baseman on Baseball Americas 2010 All-Rookie Team.

Early years


Davis, who is Jewish, was born to Millie (née Gollinger) Davis and former major league pitcher Ron Davis, who pitched in 481 games in the majors in his 11-year career. His father was a power
Power pitcher
In baseball, a power pitcher is a pitcher who relies on the velocity of his pitches, sometimes at the expense of accuracy. Power pitchers usually record a high number of strikeouts and statistics such as strikeouts per 9 innings pitched are common measures of power...

 relief pitcher
Relief pitcher
A relief pitcher or reliever is a baseball or softball pitcher who enters the game after the starting pitcher is removed due to injury, ineffectiveness, fatigue, ejection, or for other strategic reasons, such as being substituted by a pinch hitter...

, and an American League All-Star in 1981
1981 Major League Baseball All-Star Game
The 1981 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 52nd playing of the midsummer classic between the all-stars of the American League and National League , the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on August 9, 1981, at Cleveland Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio, the home of...

. He pitched from 1978 to 1988 for the New York Yankees (for four seasons, going 27–10 with 22 saves primarily as the setup man for Rich Gossage
Rich Gossage
Richard Michael "Goose" Gossage is a former Major League Baseball right-handed relief pitcher. During a 22-year baseball career, he pitched from 1972-1994 for nine different teams, spending his best years with the New York Yankees and San Diego Padres. The nickname "Goose" is a play on his surname...

), Minnesota Twins, Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers, and San Francisco Giants. His father retired when he was 2, however, so he mostly remembers old-timers' games, such as the one in which he met Derek Jeter
Derek Jeter
Derek Sanderson Jeter is an American baseball shortstop who has played 17 years in Major League Baseball for the New York Yankees. A twelve-time All-Star and five-time World Series champion, Jeter's clubhouse presence, on-field leadership, hitting ability, and baserunning have made him a central...

 when he was 12. He and his father are the 197th father-son combination to have both played in the major leagues.

His father is Baptist
Baptist
Baptists comprise a group of Christian denominations and churches that subscribe to a doctrine that baptism should be performed only for professing believers , and that it must be done by immersion...

 and his mother, the youngest daughter of Bernard and Harriet Gollinger, is Jewish. Her family was from Lithuania
Lithuania
Lithuania , officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the biggest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, whereby to the west lie Sweden and Denmark...

, and a significant percentage of it was killed in The Holocaust
The Holocaust
The Holocaust , also known as the Shoah , was the genocide of approximately six million European Jews and millions of others during World War II, a programme of systematic state-sponsored murder by Nazi...

. His great aunt on his mother’s side was a Holocaust survivor, and Davis said: "She was the one who knew everything that happened. She was able to come to the United States, and she brought the story with her." Davis' grandfather on his father’s side was a paratrooper
Paratrooper
Paratroopers are soldiers trained in parachuting and generally operate as part of an airborne force.Paratroopers are used for tactical advantage as they can be inserted into the battlefield from the air, thereby allowing them to be positioned in areas not accessible by land...

 in the United States Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

 who landed in France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 on D-Day
D-Day
D-Day is a term often used in military parlance to denote the day on which a combat attack or operation is to be initiated. "D-Day" often represents a variable, designating the day upon which some significant event will occur or has occurred; see Military designation of days and hours for similar...

 in 1944 and later helped liberate one of the concentration camps. Davis's first name is actually Isaac (he was named after his mother's grandfather), and his middle name is Benjamin. "I am really proud of my Jewish heritage," he said. "I'm glad Jewish kids get to see they can grow up to be professional baseball players." As a Jewish ballplayer on the Mets, he follows Art Shamsky
Art Shamsky
Arthur Louis Shamsky is a former Major League Baseball player. He played right field, left field, and first base from to for the Cincinnati Reds, New York Mets, Chicago Cubs, and Oakland Athletics. In he was the manager of the Modi'in Miracle of the Israel Baseball League.-Early life:Shamsky...

, Shawn Green
Shawn Green
Shawn David Green is a former Major League Baseball player.Green was a 1st round draft pick and a two-time major league All-Star...

, and Scott Schoeneweis
Scott Schoeneweis
Scott David Schoeneweis is an American Major League Baseball left-handed relief pitcher who is currently a free agent.In the five seasons from 2003–07, Schoeneweis allowed only one home run to left-handed batters...

. When told that Shawn Green used to receive marriage proposals from Jewish mothers, on behalf of their daughters, Davis laughed nervously and said: "I hope that doesn't happen. I'm not ready for marriage."

As a youth, he attended a five-day baseball fundamentals camp that his father runs for children ages 5–14. His father was also his little league
Little League
Little League Baseball and Softball is a non-profit organization in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania, United States which organizes local youth baseball and softball leagues throughout the U.S...

 coach until he was 14. His father said:
People would say Ike was good because his dad was a player. But it’s not that easy.... I can tell Ike how to swing, I can teach him to pitch, [teach] the game of baseball, but he’s the only one to make it to the big leagues. You can’t teach heart and soul. That’s what it takes to play in the game.

High school


Davis attended Chaparral High School in Scottsdale, Arizona
Scottsdale, Arizona
Scottsdale is a city in the eastern part of Maricopa County, Arizona, United States, adjacent to Phoenix. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, as of 2010 the population of the city was 217,385...

, where he won three state titles (2003–05). His father would throw him batting practice. He hit .559 as a sophomore, the school record, ahead of Paul Konerko
Paul Konerko
Paul Henry Konerko is an American professional baseball first baseman who has played for the Chicago White Sox of Major League Baseball since 1999. He previously played with the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Cincinnati Reds . Konerko helped the Chicago White Sox win the 2005 World Series, the...

's .558 in 1994. He also hit a school-record 23 double
Double (baseball)
In baseball, a double is the act of a batter striking the pitched ball and safely reaching second base without being called out by the umpire, without the benefit of a fielder's misplay or another runner being put out on a fielder's choice....

s, breaking Konerko's record of 18. He followed that up by batting .425 as a junior (when he was also Arizona 4A Pitcher of the Year), and .450 as a senior. As a senior, he had a 92–93 mph fastball, to complement his changeup
Changeup
A changeup is a type of pitch in baseball. Other names include change-of-pace, Bugs Bunny change-up, the dreaded equalizer, and simply change. The changeup is sometimes called an off-speed pitch, although that term can also be used simply to mean any pitch that is slower than a fastball...

 and slider
Slider
In baseball, a slider is a pitch that breaks laterally and down, with a speed between that of a curveball and that of a fastball....

. He was ranked 12th in the country by Baseball America
Baseball America
Baseball America is a magazine which covers baseball at every level, with a particular focus on up-and-coming players in high school, college, Japan, and the minor leagues. It is currently published in the form of a bi-weekly newspaper, five annual reference book titles, a weekly podcast, and a...

, and was a high school All-American.

In 2003, he also pitched for the U.S.A. Youth National Team (16-under) in international play. They won the gold medal
Gold medal
A gold medal is typically the medal awarded for highest achievement in a non-military field. Its name derives from the use of at least a fraction of gold in form of plating or alloying in its manufacture...

 in the International Baseball Federation
International Baseball Federation
The International Baseball Federation is the worldwide governing body recognized by the International Olympic Committee as overseeing, deciding and executing the policy of the bat-and-ball sport of baseball at the international level...

 XI "AA" World Youth Championships in Taiwan
Republic of China
The Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan , is a unitary sovereign state located in East Asia. Originally based in mainland China, the Republic of China currently governs the island of Taiwan , which forms over 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and other minor...

. In 2004, he played on the U.S.A. Junior National Team (18-under). In his two seasons playing for Team U.S.A., he batted .404.

In 2004, he was one of 40 players from across the country chosen to play in the AFLAC
Aflac
Aflac Incorporated is the largest provider of supplemental insurance in the United States, founded in 1955 and based in Columbus, Georgia. In the United States, Aflac underwrites a wide range of insurance policies, but is perhaps more known for its payroll deduction insurance coverage, which pays...

 All-American High School Baseball Classic. He won the MVP Award for the game, hitting the go-ahead home run for his team. The following year, he was MVP in the all star 2005 High School American Game.

By November 2004, the 17-year-old Davis was already 6' 4" and 194 pounds. In 2005, despite his having indicated he was going to go to college, he was drafted in the 19th round by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. He elected not to sign.

Davis graduated high school with a .447 batting average
Batting average
Batting average is a statistic in both cricket and baseball that measures the performance of cricket batsmen and baseball hitters. The two statistics are related in that baseball averages are directly descended from the concept of cricket averages.- Cricket :...

 in 320 at bats, with 48 doubles (a school record, ahead of Konerko's 44), 12 home runs, and 106 runs batted in (RBIs) (third in school history). As a pitcher he was a perfect 23–0, with a 1.85 ERA, 14 saves, and 213 strikeout
Strikeout
In baseball or softball, a strikeout or strike-out occurs when a batter receives three strikes during his time at bat. A strikeout is a statistic recorded for both pitchers and batters....

s (a school record) in 174 inning
Inning
Inning is a municipality in the district of Erding in Bavaria in Germany....

s. His teams were 95–8 over his sophomore, junior, and senior years.

Freshman (2006)


Davis chose to attend Arizona State University
Arizona State University
Arizona State University is a public research university located in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area of the State of Arizona...

 (ASU). In October 2005, he was ranked the # 2 freshman in the nation by both Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball. He pitched
Pitcher
In baseball, the pitcher is the player who throwsthe baseball from the pitcher's mound toward the catcher to begin each play, with the goal of retiring a batter, who attempts to either make contact with the pitched ball or draw a walk. In the numbering system used to record defensive plays, the...

 (as the team's Friday night starter
Starting pitcher
In baseball or softball, a starting pitcher is the pitcher who delivers the first pitch to the first batter of a game. A pitcher who enters the game after the first pitch of the game is a relief pitcher....

; the role given the "ace" of a college rotation), was the designated hitter
Designated hitter
In baseball, the designated hitter rule is the common name for Major League Baseball Rule 6.10, an official position adopted by the American League in 1973 that allows teams to designate a player, known as the designated hitter , to bat in place of the pitcher each time he would otherwise come to...

, and played first base and corner outfield. In March 2006, he was named a Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week, Pac-10 Conference Player of the Week, and College Baseball Foundation National Honor Roll Player of the Week for a week in which he batted .588 and drove in 13 run
Run (baseball)
In baseball, a run is scored when a player advances around first, second and third base and returns safely to home plate, touching the bases in that order, before three outs are recorded and all obligations to reach base safely on batted balls are met or assured...

s, in four games.

In 2006, with 65 RBIs in 227 at bats he became the first freshman ever to lead the Pac-10 in runs batted in during the regular season, and set the ASU freshman RBI record. Batting clean-up
Clean-up
Clean-up is a part of the workflow in the production of hand-drawn animation, in which "clean" versions of the "rough" animation drawings are produced....

, he hit .329 with 79 hit
Hit (baseball)
In baseball statistics, a hit , also called a base hit, is credited to a batter when the batter safely reaches first base after hitting the ball into fair territory, without the benefit of an error or a fielder's choice....

s (third all-time, for an ASU freshman), 23 doubles (tied for the Pac-10 lead, and tying the ASU record for doubles by a freshman), and a .542 slugging percentage in 58 games. His 9 home runs tied him with Bob Horner (1976) for third all-time by a Sun Devil freshman, 2 behind Barry Bonds
Barry Bonds
Barry Lamar Bonds is an American former Major League Baseball outfielder. Bonds played from 1986 to 2007, for the Pittsburgh Pirates and San Francisco Giants. He is the son of former major league All-Star Bobby Bonds...

 (11, in 1983). He was also the team's opening day
Opening Day
Opening Day is the day on which professional baseball leagues begin their regular season. For Major League Baseball and most of the minor leagues, this day falls during the first week of April. For baseball fans, Opening Day serves as a symbol of rebirth; writer Thomas Boswell once penned a book...

 starter, and pitched a team-high 12 starts. He was named a Collegiate Baseball Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American, Rivals.com
Rivals.com
Rivals.com is a network of websites that focus mainly on college football and basketball recruiting. The network was started in 1996 and currently employs more than 300 personnel.-Schools:The individual collegiate sites can be found...

 First-Team Freshman All-American,
Baseball America Second-Team Freshman All-American, Jewish Sports Review
Jewish Sports Review
Jewish Sports Review is a bi-monthly magazine that was established in 1997. Its editors are Ephraim Moxson and Shel Wallman.The magazine identifies which star and professional athletes are Jewish...

First-Team All-American, American Baseball Coaches Association
American Baseball Coaches Association
The American Baseball Coaches Association is a baseball coaching organization formed in 1945. It is the primary professional organization for baseball coaches at the amateur level.-History:...

 (ABCA) First-Team All-West Region, Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, and a member of the First-Team All-Pac-10.

Davis spent the first part of the summer of 2006 with Team USA. He then played in 22 games for the Anchorage Bucs of the Alaska Baseball League
Alaska Baseball League
The Alaska Baseball League is an amateur collegiate summer baseball league, with six teams located in four Alaskan cities. Players in the league must have attended one year of college and must have one year of NCAA eligibility remaining....

, and was named the # 10 prospect in the league by
Baseball America.

Sophomore (2007)


Davis demonstrated his versatility in an April 2007 game. He came to the mound with his team trailing 5–4, ended the inning by striking out a batter, and in the next half-inning stole
Stolen base
In baseball, a stolen base occurs when a baserunner successfully advances to the next base while the pitcher is delivering the ball to home plate...

 home as the lead runner in a triple steal. For his sophomore season, he primarily played right field (batting .349 with 23 doubles—tied for the conference lead—and 61 RBIs, in 62 games) and pitched as a middle reliever (sporting a 1.35 ERA). He again received First-Team All-Pac-10 honors, and was named a Collegiate Baseball Louisville Slugger Third Team All-American, a National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association
National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association
The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association is an association of baseball writers, broadcasters, and publicists in the United States...

 (NCBWA) Third-Team All-American, and again a
Jewish Sports Review First-Team All-American.

In the summer of 2007, he played for the Wareham Gatemen
Wareham Gatemen
The Wareham Gatemen are a collegiate summer baseball team based in Wareham, MA. The team is a member of the Cape Cod Baseball League and plays in the league's Western Division...

 in the Cape Cod League. A bone spur
Bone spur
Osteophytes, commonly referred to as bone spurs, are bony projections that form along joint margins. They should not be confused with enthesophytes, which are bony projections which form at the attachment of a tendon or ligament.-Pathophysiology:...

 in his left wrist required surgery over the summer.

Junior (2008)


He was named a pre-season 2008 All-Pac-10 outfielder by Rivals.com, and a pre-season Third-Team All-American by both the NCBWA and
Collegiate Baseball. In consecutive weeks in March 2008 he was named both the Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week and the Pac-10 Conference Player of the Week. In the first week he hit .450 and struck out all four batters he faced. In the second week he batted .529 with a 1.412 slugging percentage, and recorded five outs from the mound, four by strikeout, without giving up a hit. He was the first Sun Devil to win the Pac-10-award in consecutive weeks since Travis Buck
Travis Buck
Travis George Buck is an American professional baseball outfielder for the Houston Astros of Major League Baseball.-College career:...

 in 2004. The College Baseball Foundation named him to its National All-Star Lineup.

For his junior season, Davis hit .385, with a .457 on base percentage
On base percentage
In baseball statistics, on-base percentage is a measure of how often a batter reaches base for any reason other than a fielding error, fielder's choice, dropped/uncaught third strike, fielder's obstruction, or catcher's interference In baseball statistics, on-base percentage (OBP) (sometimes...

 and a .742 slugging percentage. He hit 23 doubles (tied for the Pac-10 lead), 16 home runs, and 76 RBIs in 213 at bats over 52 games, while missing 10 games with a rib oblique
Oblique
Oblique may refer to:*Oblique angle, in geometry, an angle that is not a multiple of 90 degrees*Oblique angle, synonym for Dutch angle, a cinematographic technique*Oblique , by jazz vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson...

 muscle strain. He was 4–1 as a pitcher, with a 2.25 ERA, 4 saves, 20 strikeouts in 24 innings against 4 walks, and hit 94 miles per hour on the radar gun
Radar gun
A radar speed gun is a small doppler radar unit used to measure the speed of moving objects, including vehicles, pitched baseballs, runners and other moving objects. Radar speed guns may be hand-held, vehicle-mounted or static...

. He also threw out four runners from right field. He was named ASU On Deck Circle Most Valuable Player; prior winners included Dustin Pedroia
Dustin Pedroia
Dustin Luis Pedroia is an American professional baseball second baseman with the Boston Red Sox of Major League Baseball. Pedroia has won several awards in Major League Baseball, including the 2007 American League Rookie of the Year and the 2008 AL MVP award...

, Willie Bloomquist
Willie Bloomquist
William Paul Bloomquist is a Major League Baseball utility player. He has played every position, aside from either of the battery positions, during his MLB career....

, Paul Lo Duca
Paul Lo Duca
Paul Anthony Lo Duca is a television personality and a former Major League Baseball catcher. Previously, Lo Duca played for the Los Angeles Dodgers , Florida Marlins , New York Mets , and Washington Nationals...

, and Barry Bonds
Barry Bonds
Barry Lamar Bonds is an American former Major League Baseball outfielder. Bonds played from 1986 to 2007, for the Pittsburgh Pirates and San Francisco Giants. He is the son of former major league All-Star Bobby Bonds...

. He received First-Team All-Pac-10 honors for the third straight year. He was also named a First Team All-American by Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball, the NCBWA, Rivals.com, and the ABCA. He played alongside two future major leaguers for the Sun Devils, teaming with now Houston Astros
Houston Astros
The Houston Astros are a Major League Baseball team located in Houston, Texas. They are a member of the National League Central division. The Astros are expected to join the American League West division in 2013. Since , they have played their home games at Minute Maid Park, known as Enron Field...

 first baseman Brett Wallace
Brett Wallace
Brett Alexander Wallace is an American professional baseball first baseman with the Houston Astros of Major League Baseball.-High school:...

, and now Cleveland Indians
Cleveland Indians
The Cleveland Indians are a professional baseball team based in Cleveland, Ohio. They are in the Central Division of Major League Baseball's American League. Since , they have played in Progressive Field. The team's spring training facility is in Goodyear, Arizona...

 second baseman Jason Kipnis
Jason Kipnis
Jason Michael Kipnis is an American baseball player who plays second base for the Cleveland Indians. He was called up from the minor leagues to the Indians on July 22, 2011....

.

He hit .353 in his college career, with a .605 slugging percentage (10th-best in ACU history). He totaled 159 runs (8th-best), 244 hits, 33 homers (5th), 69 doubles (2nd, behind Dustin Pedroia), and 202 RBIs (3rd). On the mound, he ended his college career as the Sun Devils closer, and totaled a 7–5 mark with 4 saves and 78 strikeouts in his career. Davis was also a part of two Pac-10 Championship teams, and went to the College World Series
College World Series
The College World Series or CWS is an annual baseball tournament held in Omaha, Nebraska that is the culmination of the NCAA Division I Baseball Championship, which determines the NCAA Division I college baseball champion. The eight teams are split into two, four-team, double-elimination brackets,...

 in 2007. He was named to the ASU All-Decade team.

Scouts felt he was at his best as a batter when he used the whole field. They noted that his bat speed allowed him to wait on pitches and drive them the other way, and that he was quick enough to catch up to good fastballs. Columnist Mark Schlereth
Mark Schlereth
Mark Frederick Schlereth is a former professional football player and current television sportscaster. Schlereth played guard in the NFL for 12 seasons with the Washington Redskins and Denver Broncos. He is currently a football analyst for ESPN on NFL Live, Sportscenter, and other programs...

 of ESPN observed: "The bigger the game, the better he plays."

Minor leagues (2008–10)


Davis was the 18th player taken in the first round of the 2008 Major League Baseball Draft
2008 Major League Baseball Draft
The 2008 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft continued Major League Baseball's annual amateur draft of high school and college baseball players, and was held on June 5 and 6, 2008.-First round selections:* Did not sign...

, chosen by the New York Mets
New York Mets
The New York Mets are a professional baseball team based in the borough of Queens in New York City, New York. They belong to Major League Baseball's National League East Division. One of baseball's first expansion teams, the Mets were founded in 1962 to replace New York's departed National League...

 in his junior year as compensation for the Mets' loss of Tom Glavine
Tom Glavine
Thomas Michael Glavine is a former Major League Baseball left-handed pitcher.With 164 victories during the 1990s, Glavine was the second winningest pitcher in the National League, second only to teammate Greg Maddux's 176...

 to the Atlanta Braves
Atlanta Braves
The Atlanta Braves are a professional baseball club based in Atlanta, Georgia. The Braves are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's National League. The Braves have played in Turner Field since 1997....

 in free agency. He was drafted for his power bat.
Baseball America ranked him the third-best college power hitter in the draft, and The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

 indicated that he projects to hit 25–30 home runs. He signed for $1.575 million.

Davis said, "It was a huge thrill. I was excited to be picked by New York." He received fatherly advice from his dad, and recalled:
He just said they've got the best fans, and it's a blast because every game is live or die for them. It's a great environment to grow up playing baseball, and learning how to play under pressure in front of all those people. He loved it, and I'm looking forward to it, too.


Davis was assigned to the Single-A Brooklyn Cyclones
Brooklyn Cyclones
The Brooklyn Cyclones is a minor league baseball team in the Short-Season A classification New York - Penn League, affiliated with the New York Mets. The Cyclones play at MCU Park just off the Coney Island boardwalk in the New York City borough of Brooklyn....

. On defense he excelled, as he committed only one error in 492 total chances at first base, for a league-leading .998 fielding percentage. Uncharacteristically, he struggled on offense, batting only .256, without a home run in 58 games. Asked the following year to name his most embarrassing professional moment, he replied: "Not hitting one home run in my first professional season." He noted:

It was first time I ever swung wood full time. I was learning how to play pro ball. I had never played every day in my life. That's totally different.... You have to learn to conserve your energy. In college, you just left it all out on the field every game. In pro ball, you do that and you'll wear out, because you play every single day.


In 2009, Davis started the year with the St. Lucie Mets
St. Lucie Mets
The St. Lucie Mets are a minor league baseball team based in Port St. Lucie, Florida.The team, which plays in the Florida State League, is the High-A affiliate of the New York Mets major-league club.The team plays at Digital Domain Park...

. He began to turn it around, hitting .289 with 7 home runs in 59 games. He was then promoted to the Double-A Binghamton Mets
Binghamton Mets
The Binghamton Mets are a U.S. minor league baseball team based in Binghamton, New York. The team, which plays in the Eastern League, is the Double-A affiliate of the New York Mets major-league club...

, where he came into his own, hitting .309 with 13 home runs, 41 RBIs, and a .565 slugging percentage in half a season. Mako Oliveras
Mako Oliveras
Max "Mako" Oliveras was a Minor League Baseball player and also was a minor league manager with the Binghamton Mets. Oliveras played seven seasons in the minor leagues. He was also a coach in the Major Leagues for the Chicago Cubs.In May , he took over as skipper of the independent Miami Marlins...

, the B-Mets manager, described him by saying: "Very live bat; the ball jumps off his bat when he makes contact. And as for defense, he's like a vacuum cleaner." For 2009, Davis was named the Mets Organizational Player of the Year.

After the season the Mets assigned him to the Surprise Rafters
Surprise Rafters
The Salt River Rafters are a baseball team that plays in the West Division of the Arizona Fall League. They play their home games at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick near Scottsdale, Arizona....

 of the Arizona Fall League
Arizona Fall League
The Arizona Fall League is an off-season league owned and operated by Major League Baseball which operates during the fall in Arizona, United States at five spring training complexes...

, where he hit .391. He was named to the Arizona Fall League's all star Rising Stars Game. In September 2009, he played for the gold-medal-winning U.S.A. World Cup team. In the off-season, Baseball America rated him the Mets’ No. 4 prospect.

Sent down to the Buffalo Bisons
Buffalo Bisons
The Buffalo Bisons are a minor league baseball team based in Buffalo, New York. They currently play in the International League and are the Triple-A affiliate of the New York Mets...

, the Mets' AAA affiliate, to start the 2010 season, he hit .364 with a .500 on base percentage in 10 games. In his minor league career, he batted .288, with a .371 OBP and a .467 slugging percentage in 677 at bats.

2010


Davis played in spring training
Spring training
In Major League Baseball, spring training is a series of practices and exhibition games preceding the start of the regular season. Spring training allows new players to try out for roster and position spots, and gives existing team players practice time prior to competitive play...

 with the Mets in 2010, and led the team with a .480 average as he hit 3 home runs. He also sparkled on defense, prompting José Reyes to observe: "People talk about his hitting, but he is one of the best defensive first basemen you will ever see for a player his age." Many Mets players were rooting for Davis to break camp with the team, but he was sent down to the minors at the end of spring training. On April 19, however, the Mets purchased Davis's minor league contract. At that point Davis had played only 65 games in his life above the Single-A level.

Davis made his debut at Citi Field on April 19 against the Chicago Cubs
Chicago Cubs
The Chicago Cubs are a professional baseball team located in Chicago, Illinois. They are members of the Central Division of Major League Baseball's National League. They are one of two Major League clubs based in Chicago . The Cubs are also one of the two remaining charter members of the National...

. He singled in his first at bat, and had two singles in four at bats in a Mets win. "This is awesome," he gushed. In a sign of acceptance and welcome, after the victory Mets veteran Jeff Francoeur
Jeff Francoeur
Jeffrey Braden Francoeur , nicknamed "Frenchy", is a Major League Baseball right fielder who now plays for the Kansas City Royals. Francoeur is known for a strong throwing arm.-Minor league career:...

 slapped a shaving-cream pie in his face. Davis had two multi-hit games in his first four games. In his fifth game, on April 23, he hit his first home run. It traveled 450 feet (137.2 m), onto Shea Bridge at Citi Field, and was the longest home run of any Met at Citi Field. He had his first multi-home-run game on May 7.

A gifted, slick-fielding defensive first baseman, in 3 of his first 21 games he made spectacular catches of foul
Foul ball
In baseball, a foul ball is a batted ball that:* Settles on foul territory between home and first base or between home and third base, or* Bounds past first or third base on or over foul territory, or...

 pop-ups, bracing himself against the railing in front of the first base dugout
Dugout (baseball)
In baseball, the dugout is a team's bench area and is located in foul territory between home plate and either first or third base. There are two dugouts, one for the home team and one for the visiting team. In general, the dugout is occupied by all players not prescribed to be on the field at that...

, and then flipping over the railing as he caught the ball. The 6' 4" Davis said: "I'm going to try to catch any ball I can. I've got long arms, I guess. I'd rather end the game, than worry about getting a bruise."


The Met fans began to treat him like a folk hero. Within a month of his debut, he had become a fan favorite. "I Like Ike" banners began appearing at Citi Field, a phrase once used in the decades-prior presidential campaigns of Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States, from 1953 until 1961. He was a five-star general in the United States Army...

. Weeks later, he recalled:
I had such nerves the first few days. I didn't even have an approach. It was just see the ball, hit the ball. Only now am I settling in, getting the chance to think about how a pitcher is going to approach me.


While the Mets had appeared uncertain whether Davis could handle the pressure of the major leagues as spring training ended, by mid-May—just a month after calling him up to the majors—they moved him to the cleanup
Cleanup hitter
In baseball, the cleanup hitter is the hitter who bats fourth in the lineup. Although the third man up is generally the hitter with the highest batting average, cleanup hitters often have the most power on the team and are typically the team's best power hitter; their job is to "clean up the...

 spot in the batting order
Batting order (baseball)
The batting order, or batting lineup, in baseball is the sequence in which the nine members of the offense take their turns in batting against the pitcher. The batting order is the main component of a team's offensive strategy. The batting order is set by the manager before the game begins...

. Manager Jerry Manuel
Jerry Manuel
Jerry Manuel , nicknamed "The Sage" is a former major league manager. He previously managed the Chicago White Sox from 1998 to 2003 and the New York Mets from the middle of 2008 to 2010 and played in the majors for parts of five seasons in the 1970s and early 1980s.-Playing career:Manuel played...

 said: "I think we’re going to try to leave him there for a while. I think he’s ready to handle that."

On June 8, Davis hit his first career walk off home run, against the Padres' Edward Mujica
Edward Mujica
Edward José Mujica [moo-HE-cah] is a right-handed relief pitcher for the Miami Marlins of Major League Baseball.-Cleveland Indians:Mujica originally signed with the Cleveland Indians as an undrafted free agent in...

. His 11 home runs prior to the All Star break tied with Benny Agbayani
Benny Agbayani
Benny Peter Agbayani, Jr. is retired professional baseball player. Born in Hawaii to Filipino and Samoan parents, he attended Saint Louis School and Hawaii Pacific University. He also attended the Oregon Institute of Technology...

 (1999) for the second-most by a Mets rookie, behind Ron Swoboda
Ron Swoboda
Ronald Alan Swoboda is a former Major League Baseball outfielder best remembered as a member of the Amazin' Mets.-MLB debut:...

 (15, in 1965).

By September 26, as advanced defense metrics reflected a "UZR/150" (ultimate zone rating
Ultimate zone rating
Ultimate zone rating is a sabermetric statistic used to measure fielding. It compares the event that actually happened to data on similarly hit balls in the past to determine how much better or worse the fielder did than the "average" player...

) of 12.5, putting him second in baseball behind Oakland's Daric Barton
Daric Barton
Daric William Barton nicknamed "D.B.", is a Major League Baseball first baseman who plays for the Oakland Athletics....

, sportswriter Mike Silva mused as to whether he could win a Gold Glove. Using the advanced metric "Defensive Runs Saved", sportswriter John Dewan indicated that Davis was best in the NL and second-best in baseball, having saved 14 runs, again behind only Barton in the majors. He showed good range, and saved a number of throws with his soft hands on scoops.

For the season, he was second among all NL rookies in runs (73), doubles (33), walks (72), extra-base hits (53), on base percentage (.351), and OPS
On-base plus slugging
On-base plus slugging is a sabermetric baseball statistic calculated as the sum of a player's on-base percentage and slugging percentage. The ability of a player to both get on base and to hit for power, two important hitting skills, are represented. An OPS of .900 or higher in Major League...

 (.791). He was also third in RBIs (71) and slugging percentage (.440), and tied for third in home runs (19).

He set the Mets rookie record for total bases (230). He also tied Lee Mazzilli
Lee Mazzilli
Lee Louis Mazzilli, , is a former Major League Baseball player, coach, and manager. On December 11, 2006, he was hired as the lead studio analyst for SportsNet New York, the New York Mets' cable television network...

's 1977 Mets rookie record in walks (72) and Ty Wigginton
Ty Wigginton
Ty Allen Wigginton is an American professional baseball infielder for the Philadelphia Phillies of Major League Baseball. He is known as a utility player, having platooned as an infielder and an outfielder during his career. He bats and throws right-handed...

's 2003 Mets rookie record in extra-base hits (53). He was second among rookies in Mets history with 33 doubles (behind Wigginton), his 19 home runs tied for second-most with Ron Swoboda (1965), behind Darryl Strawberry
Darryl Strawberry
Darryl Eugene Strawberry is a former American Major League Baseball outfielder who is well-known both for his play on the field and for his controversial behavior off it...

 (1983), his 71 RBIs tied for second with Wigginton, behind Strawberry, and his 138 hits were 4th on the Mets all-time list (behind Jay Payton
Jay Payton
Jason Lee "Jay" Payton is a former Major League Baseball outfielder. He has played for the New York Mets , Colorado Rockies , San Diego Padres , Boston Red Sox , Oakland Athletics Baltimore Orioles and the Colorado Rockies in 2010. He bats and throws right-handed. Payton is an opposite-field...

—2000, Ron Hunt
Ron Hunt
Ronald Kenneth Hunt is a former Major League Baseball player. A second baseman who also played third base sparingly, Hunt played for the New York Mets , Los Angeles Dodgers , San Francisco Giants , Montreal Expos and St...

—1963, and Wigginton).

Davis was named the first baseman on Baseball America
Baseball America
Baseball America is a magazine which covers baseball at every level, with a particular focus on up-and-coming players in high school, college, Japan, and the minor leagues. It is currently published in the form of a bi-weekly newspaper, five annual reference book titles, a weekly podcast, and a...

s 2010 All-Rookie Team. He came in 7th in the voting for 2010 NL Rookie of the Year, receiving two third-place votes.

2011


Davis started the 2011 season by establishing a Mets record, with at least one RBI in 9 of his first 10 games. On May 10, Ike sustained an ankle injury in a collision with third baseman David Wright
David Wright
David Wright may refer to:*David Wright , British artist and illustrator*David Wright , American Major League Baseball player*David Wright , composer and producer, co-founder of AD Music...

. The injury occurred on a routine popup near the pitcher's mound, with Davis rolling his ankle in an injury that didn't appear very serious at the time. On June 22, he was told that the injury might require season-ending surgery. On September 6, 2011, ESPN reported that Ike was busy rehabbing his ankle with the Mets and would not need surgery. During the injury-shortened 2011 season, Ike Davis had 139 AB at 36 games, and his Average was .304 and his OPS was .925. Ike hit 7 home runs and had 25 RBI.

Awards



High School
  • 2004 Arizona 4A Pitcher of the Year
  • 2004 High School All American
  • 2004 ranked # 12 high school player in U.S. by Baseball America
    Baseball America
    Baseball America is a magazine which covers baseball at every level, with a particular focus on up-and-coming players in high school, college, Japan, and the minor leagues. It is currently published in the form of a bi-weekly newspaper, five annual reference book titles, a weekly podcast, and a...

  • 2004 MVP of AFLAC
    Aflac
    Aflac Incorporated is the largest provider of supplemental insurance in the United States, founded in 1955 and based in Columbus, Georgia. In the United States, Aflac underwrites a wide range of insurance policies, but is perhaps more known for its payroll deduction insurance coverage, which pays...

     All-American High School Baseball Classic
  • 2005 MVP of High School American Game

College
  • 3x Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week
  • 3x Pac-10 Conference Player of the Week
  • 3x First-Team All-Pac-10 (2006–08)
  • 2x Jewish Sports Review
    Jewish Sports Review
    Jewish Sports Review is a bi-monthly magazine that was established in 1997. Its editors are Ephraim Moxson and Shel Wallman.The magazine identifies which star and professional athletes are Jewish...

    First-Team All-American (2006–07)
  • 2005 ranked # 2 freshman in U.S. by Baseball America
  • 2005 ranked # 2 freshman in U.S. by Collegiate Baseball
  • 2006 College Baseball Foundation National Honor Roll Player of the Week
  • 2006 Collegiate Baseball Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American
  • 2006 Rivals.com
    Rivals.com
    Rivals.com is a network of websites that focus mainly on college football and basketball recruiting. The network was started in 1996 and currently employs more than 300 personnel.-Schools:The individual collegiate sites can be found...

     First-Team Freshman All-American
  • 2006 Baseball America Second-Team Freshman All-American
  • 2006 American Baseball Coaches Association
    American Baseball Coaches Association
    The American Baseball Coaches Association is a baseball coaching organization formed in 1945. It is the primary professional organization for baseball coaches at the amateur level.-History:...

     (ABCA) First-Team All-West Region

  • 2006 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year
  • 2006 ranked # 10 prospect in Alaska Baseball League
    Alaska Baseball League
    The Alaska Baseball League is an amateur collegiate summer baseball league, with six teams located in four Alaskan cities. Players in the league must have attended one year of college and must have one year of NCAA eligibility remaining....

     by Baseball America
  • 2007 Collegiate Baseball Louisville Slugger Third Team All-American
  • 2007 National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association
    National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association
    The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association is an association of baseball writers, broadcasters, and publicists in the United States...

     (NCBWA) Third-Team All-American
  • 2008 pre-season Rivals.com All-Pac-10 outfielder
  • 2008 pre-season NCBWA Third-Team All-American
  • 2008 pre-season Collegiate Baseball Third-Team All-American
  • 2008 College Baseball Foundation National All-Star Lineup
  • 2008 ASU On Deck Circle Most Valuable Player
  • 2008 Baseball America First Team All-American
  • 2008 Collegiate Baseball First Team All-American
  • 2008 NCBWA First Team All-American
  • 2008 Rivals.com First Team All-American
  • 2008 ABCA First Team All-American
  • ASU All-Decade team (2000–09)

Minors
  • 2009 Mets Organizational Player of the Year
  • 2009 Arizona Fall League
    Arizona Fall League
    The Arizona Fall League is an off-season league owned and operated by Major League Baseball which operates during the fall in Arizona, United States at five spring training complexes...

     Rising Stars Game all star

Majors
  • 2010 Baseball America
    Baseball America
    Baseball America is a magazine which covers baseball at every level, with a particular focus on up-and-coming players in high school, college, Japan, and the minor leagues. It is currently published in the form of a bi-weekly newspaper, five annual reference book titles, a weekly podcast, and a...

    All-Rookie Team (1B)


See also

  • List of second-generation Major League Baseball players
  • List of select Jewish Major League Baseball players

External links