PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - The Mets are not yet ready for Ike Davis, but that day may come sooner than anyone previously expected.
Davis, 23, was reassigned Tuesday to minor-league camp, and is likely headed to Triple-A Buffalo when the season begins. But the 23-year-old first baseman opened some eyes this spring, batting .480 (12-for-25) with three homers and 10 RBIs.
"I figured it was coming," Davis said. "But I feel more confident in myself as a player. I played with some guys that have been in the big leagues, and just to know that I'm not that far behind is pretty comforting. To know that you can see your goal in sight - you're not there yet, but you can see it - is a pretty cool feeling."
Davis was called into the manager's office early Tuesday morning and met with Jerry Manuel, Omar Minaya, assistant GM John Ricco and farm director Adam Wogan. The feedback was positive and left Davis with the impression that he's only a phone call away from living his dream.
"It was a good talk," said Davis, who was the 18th overall pick in the 2008 draft. "They said, 'You didn't disappoint us.' They feel like if need be, and someone happens to go down, that they have pretty good backup."
Davis projects to be the Mets' starting first baseman in 2011, but he made a strong case to move up that schedule to Opening Day this year. Daniel Murphy, the expected starter, is hitting .133 (4-for-30) with one homer and four RBIs. Mike Jacobs is batting .174 (4-for-23) with two homers and two RBIs.
Although the Mets appear to be rushing Jenrry Mejia, a 20-year-old relief pitcher, they had no intention of doing that with Davis. The initial plan was for him to get another 500 at-bats or so at Buffalo before promoting him full-time.
Still, Davis not only showed impressive power, but he also had a flair for the dramatic. On Saturday, Davis hit a tying homer with two outs in the ninth inning against the Cardinals. When asked Tuesday how close he might be to the majors, Davis' eyes lit up.
"I couldn't tell you that," Davis said. "It could be two years. But for right now, I know if I work on my game and get where I want to be, that I think eventually I can play here."