The Mets season is over, which means the off-season is around the corner. After the postseason is done and baseball can crown a winner, one of the most interesting offseason will start for Mets fans. One thing that is likely is happen? JD Davis gets traded. But is that the right call?
During the season it was no surprise that JD Davis isn’t part of the Mets future plans. Even during a solid offensive season, the Mets decided to use Davis as a bench player. Mostly because Davis didn’t play a good third base defensively.
That being said, there is most likely a DH next year and to me Davis is a perfect DH candidate. Davis hit .285/.384/.436 in just 179 at bats. In a difficult role, without getting consistent playing time, he was still able to have an .820 OPS. With more consistent playing time and not playing hurt, I believe Davis could up his numbers.
Main reason, Davis barrels balls up. In 2021 he has a barrel percentage of 12.4%, second on the Mets behind Pete Alonso. His sweet spot percentage also went up 7.6% and is the highest of his career. That including his ability to get on base makes him an above average hitter IMO.
It’s also good to note that JD Davis is actually a good fastball hitter, besides what is told in the media. Davis owns a plus 2 run value on the 4 seamer and sinking fastball. He has at least a 0 run value on every pitch which makes him difficult to pitch too. Only main flaw is his troubles against the high pitch.
One big plus in his adjustments for this season is that he was able to increase his launch angle. In 2021 he increased his launch angle with 9.9 degrees on average (13.2), higher than his great 2019 (10.2).
JD is a good hitter in his prime of his career for a low cost. Yes, he has his issues defensively, but with a DH he can get more at bats without his below average defense costing the Mets.
The Mets can also afford to have a defense first third baseman in their every day lineup, something they haven’t really had in a long time. To me third base is a more important position to improve defensively than (for example) left field. This way they can use Guillorme or sign a cheap defense first third baseman, without adding a big contract at third with blocking Vientos/Baty.
In conclusion, I wouldn’t trade a cheap under controlled solid hitter in JD Davis. With the DH, as the DH and without a good hitter of the bench, and playing third with a strikeout/fly ball pitcher.
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