Thinking about targeting Ike Davis as a sleeper candidate? Definitely pay attention to his spring training physical. Davis said Monday that he still had traces of the disease Valley Fever last year, a debilitating fungal infection that makes playing a high level sport very difficult. Davis said,
Valley fever is a nightmare...you have no energy, no nothing. It was definitely a weird one. It's supposed to go away on its own, but when I had an X-ray last year, it showed I still had it. I'm hoping that's over and done with.
Davis' struggles with Valley Fever probably explains his lack of power the last two seasons and overall erratic play since contracting the infection prior to the 2012 season. In Davis' first 750 career PA prior to his diagnosis, he hit .271/.357/.460 with a 123 wRC+. Since the Valley Fever diagnosis, Davis has hit just .223/.324/.403 with a 105 wRC+, a steep drop in production. Davis has hit just 20 total home runs between 2013 and 2014 as the symptoms of his illness have worsened.
The Mets were first alerted of a possible disease for Davis prior to the 2012 season. Davis originally claimed to be free of symptoms, but as Craig Calcaterra pointed out, he eventually admitted to being exhausted all the time during the spring of 2012, contradicting his previous statements. Davis says he's feeling stronger this year than he has in the past two years, but take that with a grain of salt.
Davis will take a spring training physical when he arrives to A's camp in late February. If the physical still shows lingering signs of Valley Fever, fantasy owners should strongly consider avoiding Davis in 2015.