When spring training first started, the Mets seemed focused on having J.D. Davis try out third base again. Third base was his original position when he came over from the Astros, and it is where he started to begin the year last season. His defense was sub par to say the least and when Todd Frazier returned from the injured list he moved to the outfield where his defense did not improve.
With the adoption of the universal DH, however, J.D. Davis could benefit since he is a man without a position. His bat is far too valuable to be sitting on the bench, especially at home and in a shortened season. Every team will need all the offense it can get and his numbers speak for themselves. He hit .354/.413/.665 with an eye-popping 1.078 OPS at home last year, and if we want to compare 60 game stretches, in the last 60 games of the season he hit .340/.396/.600 with a .996 OPS in 200 at-bats.
Overall in the second half, he was arguably one of the best offensive outfielders in the league. He was among the league leaders in average, OBP, SLG, wOBA, and wRC+ during the second half, which coincided with the Mets’ surge back into the playoff race. Pete Alonso and Michael Conforto tended to steal the headlines, but whenever there was a big rally ‘Just Dingers’ Davis was usually in the middle of it.
Unfortunately, he faces competition wherever he plays including designated hitter. When asked his thoughts about the DH on the Cookie Club, he said he was all for it since it could give the team an offensive advantage but he did not specifically say if he would benefit from the change. Yoenis Cespedes, Dominic Smith, Robinson Cano, Jed Lowrie, and Wilson Ramos could all see action as the designated hitter. Jeff McNeil is far more flexible in moving around the diamond without his defense suffering, so Luis Rojas will have decisions to make when it comes to Davis. Is this the season to prepare him at third or as the long term solution there or in left field? He does have the reputation as being extremely studious and as a notoriously hard worker, so the potential for improvement is there.
No matter where he plays, Davis has been a delightful addition to the team. He shows off a magnetic personality that makes him easy to root for and the team fun to watch. Hopefully everyone stays healthy and baseball is safe to play. That way, we can enjoy everything Davis brings to the team.