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New York Mets: Why I’m really enjoying J.D. Davis on this team

PORT ST. LUCIE, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 21: J.D. Davis #28 of the New York Mets poses for a photo on Photo Day at First Data Field on February 21, 2019 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
PORT ST. LUCIE, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 21: J.D. Davis #28 of the New York Mets poses for a photo on Photo Day at First Data Field on February 21, 2019 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
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It took J.D. Davis fewer than 100 trips to the plate to convince me he can play a key role for the New York Mets this year and several more to come. I’m digging the deal that brought him to Flushing.

Like a mole I’ve convinced myself is actually a beauty mark, J.D. Davis has grown on me in a positive way. At first, I wasn’t sure what to think of a guy who dominated at Triple-A and consistently put up poor numbers in MLB. When the New York Mets first acquired him a trade with the Houston Astros, I was reluctant to believe it was a favorable decision. However, after a few weeks with the team, I’m beginning to dig the deal.

Davis hasn’t exploded with power yet. We know he does possess the ability to do so. He’s the kind of guy who swings hard and looks for a four-base hit. In time, I do expect those power numbers to steadily climb.

It’s Davis’ bat which makes him a big league player. We’ve already seen struggles on defense at third base. We’ve also heard this isn’t the only place he can play. Davis joined the Mets as a potential first base and left field option. It’s at the latter I would like to see him eventually take over. Following in the footsteps of other offense-first power hitters, he’s a viable option to become a number five or six hitter with 30-home run potential as the starting left fielder.

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Please excuse me while I continue to write about how I believe he has a starting role with the Mets in the near future. Just as there was something about Mary in the late 1990s, there’s something about J.D. which warms me.

Davis has yet to win anything more than extra at-bats with the Mets by outplaying Todd Frazier. Easier done than said—Frazier is a DFA candidate for sure and only saved by the millions of dollars the Mets would pay him to go away. Davis, who still earns pennies in Major League Baseball terms, also has options to head to the minor leagues should the team believe Frazier is able to turn things around. Over the next few days, we’ll see just how much the Mets believe in Davis and respect what he has done so far this year.

Through his first 98 plate appearances of 2019, Davis is hitting .276/.357/.425. He has knocked 3 home runs and another 4 doubles. His 19 strikeouts are rather low for a guy who fanned plenty in the minor leagues. He’s not the same hitter he was before. He looks more disciplined albeit possibly at the cost of some pop.

As much as I do want to see Davis find his home run stroke, it’s also good to see him getting hits, reaching base, and not flailing at strike three.

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There’s plenty still to work on with his bat and glove. In the meantime, it’s just sweet to see someone we didn’t see coming offer up the depth we were promised at the beginning of the year.

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