Fangraphs.com features two different prediction programs (Steamer and Oliver) to project stats for the 2014 season. You can take a look at Davis’s projections here and Duda’s here. Below are some highlights:
Lucas Duda Projection:Steamer: 277 AB, 10 HR, 35 R, .237 BA, .334 OBP, .404 SLG, 0.3 WAR
Oliver: 505 AB, 18 HR, 67 R, .222 BA, .338 OBP, .378 SLG, 0.9 WAR
Ike Davis Projection:Steamer: 352 AB, 17 HR, 48 R, .238 BA, .340 OBP, .439 SLG, 1.4 WAR
Oliver: 510 AB, 21 HR, 67 R, .214 BA, .325 OBP, .390 SLG, 0.9 WAR
Let’s first look at the Oliver projections. In terms of WAR, Oliver doesn’t see any difference between Davis and Duda. They have similar projections for the amount time played at first, similar homer totals (slight advantage to Davis), identical run predictions, similar batting average and OBP (with a slight advantage to Duda) and similar slugging with an advantage to Davis. If the Oliver model holds true, then this supports the idea that it doesn’t really matter who the Mets start off at first, that both players are on a rather similar trajectory right now. In this scenario, Davis defense becomes an advantage and Davis’ late start mentality is a disadvantage. To sum up, between Davis and Duda, its a wash.
The Steamer projection disagrees, mainly due to playing time. It predicts 277 AB for Duda and 352 for Davis, in other words, both become platoon players. With that Davis hits seven more homers and slight advantages BA and then OBP. Davis does project to have a higher SLG. Even though Davis has 75 more AB’s in the Steamer model, he is projected to have a 1.4 WAR instead of Duda’s 0.3, a huge difference. Steamer projects more wins by Davis in about 150 less AB’s than the the Oliver model does. If the Steamer model pans out, then Davis is actually the go to first basemen, probably in a platoon with a complement bat like Satin.
Interesting food for thought on a snowday.