2/5/2013 7:22 P.M. ET
Munson Award winner Ike aims for strong, healthy '13
By Anthony DiComo / MLB.com
NEW YORK -- As his stature within the Mets' universe has grown, David Wright has taken on more and more responsibility as a pitchman for the team. He calls college and high school players after the Mets draft them. Wright calls former rivals after the Mets trade for them. He calls free agents to discuss the merits of the Mets.
So when it comes to the team's pursuit of Michael Bourn, Ike Davis will leave the recruiting pitch to Wright.
Davis -- who was honored at the Thurman Munson Awards on Tuesday alongside gold medal-winning gymnast Aly Raisman, Yankees pitchers CC Sabathia and David Phelps, Giants defensive lineman Chris Canty and former Knicks guard Greg Anthony -- said he would love to have Bourn aboard, even if he isn't about to go calling the two-time All-Star outfielder at his home.
"I think he would say, 'Ike who?'" Davis joked.
Davis may be surprised to learn the respect goes both ways, now that he has also established himself as one of the top overall first basemen in the game. Finally fully healthy, recovered from the various injuries and ailments that plagued him in 2011 and '12, Davis hopes to extrapolate his strong second half last summer over a full season in 2013.
If he does, he is a good bet to bash at least 30 homers again while knocking in more than 100 runs for the first time. Following the All-Star break last year, Davis hit .255 with 20 home runs.
"It's been a totally different thing," said Davis, whose career was derailed first by a left ankle bone bruise in 2011, then a probable case of Valley Fever last spring. "I'm definitely stronger now than I was last year, which was nice."
To drive in runs, however, Davis will need to have runners on base in front of him. Projected to hit fourth behind Ruben Tejada, Daniel Murphy and Wright, Davis could see his opportunities increase bountifully if Bourn winds up signing with the Mets.
"We're going to see more fastballs if he's on the team," Davis said. "He's definitely going to help out the second-hole hitter, David, me, in every aspect of the game. So yeah, it would be great. He's also an amazingly good defender out in center field. But that's a whole different scenario. You always can wish, but you never know what's going to happen."
Though the Mets remain in talks with Bourn, general manager Sandy Alderson cautioned Monday not to expect any major changes between now and the start of Spring Training -- just six days away. Signing Bourn would require them not only to come to terms on a potentially expensive contract, but also to give up their first-round Draft pick (or successfully lobby the league to let them keep it).
Either way, by the time the situation reaches its conclusion, Davis will be in Florida with a Munson Award in tow.
"I'm just really humbled and really excited that I was given the opportunity to be here," he said. "It's obviously a great honor."