Mets' first pick takes in sights, sounds
Davis takes BP, talks with players at Shea Stadium on Tuesday
NEW YORK -- As Ike Davis stretched for his Shea Stadium batting practice session on Tuesday, placing two black, wooden bats between his feet while dipping down to touch his toes, several Mets players were already kneeling at his feet and waiting to introduce themselves.
They weren't in awe of the Mets' first-round Draft pick. Rather, it was Davis, newly signed into the organization, who yearned to make eye contact with the faces of the franchise, such as Jose Reyes. The shortstop obliged, pointing at Davis and chirping a few side remarks before he entered the cage for a few swings.
Being in the company of Major Leaguers isn't new to Davis. Heck, Ike's father, Ron, a pitcher with the Yankees during four seasons of a career that spanned from 1978-88, was once able to get his then-13-year-old son a BP session with the then-retired Goose Gossage.
Now a part of a big league system himself, Ike appreciated the chance to mingle with players that have already reached the top of the ladder that he is actually about to climb. Davis will start with Class A Brooklyn after this short Tuesday tour with the Mets.
"I sit at home sometimes, watching big league games, and to see Reyes and all those guys out there, you kind of look up to them," Davis said. "And then you get by them, it's really cool how they come up and say 'Hi' to you."
Davis bided his time in the Mets' clubhouse on Tuesday by introducing himself to closer Billy Wagner, as well as carrying on conversations with pitcher Scott Schoeneweis and right fielder Ryan Church. The 6-foot-4, 205-pound first-base prospect showed no hesitation in putting his arm around Schoeneweis and escorting him back to his locker before Tuesday's game against the Mariners.
As a Met for a day, Davis wore No. 39, his father's digits. Like his father, Ike has an arm, evidenced by his 4-1 record and 2.53 ERA as a junior at Arizona State University. But the Mets didn't draft Davis at No. 18 overall to see him pitch. It was his .385 average from the left side of the plate that intrigued scouting director Rudy Terrasas and others. Coming into the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, Davis' 16 home runs this past season had Baseball America rank him as the No. 3 collegiate power hitter available.
Mets' top five selections
|18.||1B||Isaac Davis||Arizona St U|
|22.||SS||David Havens||U of S.C. Columbia|
|33.||RHP||Bradley Holt||UNC Wilmington|
|68.||OF||Javier Rodriguez||Puerto Rico BB Academy HS|
|100.||CF||Kirk Nieuwenhuis||Azusa Pacific U|
|Complete Mets Draft results >|
Davis projects as either a first baseman or corner outfielder with the Mets, but that place in the lineup is far beyond here and now. He hasn't even met fellow top picks and soon-to-be Brooklyn teammates Reese Havens (22nd pick overall) and Brad Holt (33rd overall).
And he wouldn't want to start his career anywhere but here.
"It's the best place to be playing the game," Davis said, anticipating the raucous crowds in New York, which he is familiar with because of his father's time in the Bronx.
The humorous tension created between father, Ron, the pinstriped Yankee, and son, Ike, the Amazin', intrigues the Mets' 21-year-old farmhand.
"It's pretty sweet that I got the other side," Ike said. "He got the Yankees, and I got the Mets. It's a little home rivalry right there. It's cool. I like the fans. They get rowdy. I like games that are loud, and it makes the games better and a lot funner to play."
Jon Blau is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.