Ike’s rookie power

Ike Davis’ 14th home run last night marked the most by a Mets rookie since David Wright hit 14 during his rookie year in 2004, when he also was an in-season callup. Wright hit his 14 in 69 games (283 plate appearances), Davis needed 84 games (344 PAs). The current corners of the Mets infield now rank third in rookie-year home runs in team history.

Ahead of the pair is Ron Swoboda’s 19 long balls in 1965 and the best hitter developed by the Mets until Wright came along, Darryl Strawberry, who hit 26 in 1983. At Davis’ current rate of one homer every 24.7 plate appearances and estimating 245 more PAs this season (based on his 115 in May and 110 in June), he could have about 10 more left in him, putting him at 24.
Whether he hits more or less depends on the adjustments he makes as pitchers become even more familiar with him and his endurance as he plays past Labor Day for the first time in his career. But the home run rate is right on his combined numbers from St. Lucie and Binghamton in 2009: his 20 homers in 488 PAs was one every 24.4 at-bats. (In his 42 PAs at Triple-A Buffalo to start 2010, he hit two, or one every 21 PAs.) I left out his 2008 pro debut in Brooklyn, when he went homerless in 239 PAs, because that was no doubt an aberration as he adjusted to professional ball after being drafted that June out of Arizona State. And if you want the high end of his ability, perhaps what he did at Double-A last summer is an indication: He hit 13 homers in 233 PAs, or one every 17.9 trips to the dish.
Here are the best home run totals (10+) by Mets rookies, courtesy Baseball-Reference:
Rk Player HR Year Age G PA AB R H 2B 3B RBI BB IBB SO HBP SF GDP SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS
1 Darryl Strawberry 26 1983 21 122 473 420 63 108 15 7 74 47 9 128 4 2 5 19 6 .257 .336 .512 .848
2 Ron Swoboda 19 1965 21 135 438 399 52 91 15 3 50 33 3 102 3 2 10 2 3 .228 .291 .424 .714
3 David Wright 14 2004 21 69 283 263 41 77 17 1 40 14 0 40 3 3 7 6 0 .293 .332 .525 .857
4 Ike Davis 14 2010 23 84 347 311 47 78 18 0 46 34 3 85 1 1 9 1 0 .251 .326 .444 .769
5 Jeromy Burnitz 13 1993 24 86 306 263 49 64 10 6 38 38 4 66 1 2 2 3 6 .243 .339 .475 .814
6 Jim Hickman 13 1962 25 140 452 392 54 96 18 2 46 47 2 96 3 3 9 4 4 .245 .328 .401 .729
7 Steve Henderson 12 1977 24 99 398 350 67 104 16 6 65 43 2 79 1 4 13 6 3 .297 .372 .480 .852
8 Mike Jacobs 11 2005 24 30 112 100 19 31 7 0 23 10 0 22 1 1 5 0 0 .310 .375 .710 1.085
9 Ron Hunt 10 1963 22 143 600 533 64 145 28 4 42 40 0 50 13 6 13 5 4 .272 .334 .396 .730
10 Tsuyoshi Shinjo 10 2001 29 123 438 400 46 107 23 1 56 25 3 70 7 2 8 4 5 .268 .320 .405 .725
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 7/24/2010.

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