The 2021 season was not kind to J.D. Davis. After an offseason of trade rumors, he spent large chunks of the season on the injured list, and the team fired his beloved hitting coach Chili Davis. When healthy, his defense was still spotty at best at third base, and he lost playing time to Jonathan Villar, who the Mets seemed to trust to man the hot corner.
There is still some question as to whether or not Davis was ever fully healthy last season. Shortly after the season ended, he underwent surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left hand and his future with the team was very much in doubt. Despite yet another season of trade rumors, Davis is still on the team but has no clear role on the roster even with the addition of the designated hitter.
Overall offensively, Davis had a solid season in 2021. He finished the year hitting .285/.384/.436, but the one area where he really excelled was as a pinch-hitter. In twenty-one at bats he hit .429/.455/.571 which in pre-DH times would be very valuable, but now there is less of a need for a potent bat to pinch-hit late in games. With Robinson Canó back with the team after his year-long suspension, he will most likely serve in the designated hitter role, and with Davis’s defense still questionable he will probably see very little action in the field.
According to manager Buck Showalter, this spring the Mets focused on Davis primarily at third with some time in left and first. When the season starts, however, with the addition of Eduardo Escobar, Davis will most likely not be the Mets’ starting third baseman. He will be a nice right-handed complement as the DH and does give the Mets a powerful bat should a pinch-hitting need arise. He is still a nice depth piece to have, especially since he is not a free agent until 2025 and this is the last year of Canó’s contract. Hopefully Davis’s injury woes are behind him, and he, his bat, and his goofiness will once again be positive contributors to the team during the 2022 season.