Mets slugger J.D. Davis is earning a shot to start every day in 2020
By Jose Rivera
J.D. Davis has slugged his way into more playing time for the New York Mets in 2019. He may have even won an everyday job for the 2020 campaign.
The 2019 season has been a giant roller coaster ride for the New York Mets and their fans. But as the Mets make their way down the stretch to a potential wild card spot, a lot of credit has to go to the players that have been having breakout seasons.
One of those players who have broken out this year is J.D. Davis. Before 2019, Davis has primarily played third base in his career but his versatility has been tested as the Mets have used him to play the outfield. No matter where Davis is asked to play his bat stays consistent and with the Mets still focusing on 2019, one thing is becoming clear for 2020.
Davis is earning a shot to play every day next season.
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A lot of people were scratching their heads after the Mets traded 3 minor leaguers to the Houston Astros for Davis in the off-season. Many thought it was a steep price for just another minor league player. But Davis has silenced those critics throughout 2019.
With 309 at-bats Davis has become a key component in this Mets offense having 15 home runs and 44 RBI. Pair that with his .307 batting average and his .888 OPS and it’s a no brainer why he is in the lineup every day. Over his last 15 games, he’s batting .375 with 4 home runs and 10 RBI.
Although Davis’ outburst will come as a surprise to some, Davis has a pretty good track record of being a good hitter.
Throughout his career in the minors from 2014-2018, he has three seasons with 20 plus home runs and four seasons with 75 plus RBI. During his time with Houston, a lot of his minor league numbers did not translate well at the big league level but he only had 165 at-bats over two years.
For Davis, it was hard to find playing time in Houston. With a stacked infield of Alex Bregman, Carlos Correa, and Jose Altuve there was just no room for him. Even in the outfield, Houston had guys like Josh Reddick and now Minnesota Twin Marwin Gonzalez. In the offseason Houston also decided to sign Micheal Brantley, leaving Davis no way to sniff any playing time.
At the beginning of 2019, it looked like Davis would be primarily coming off the bench as the Mets, when healthy, also had no room for Davis. But as injuries always occur the opportunity was there for Davis to seize and he did.
Now the question is what happens in 2020 when everyone comes back ready to go in Spring Training. Todd Frazier will be a free agent at the end of 2019 and although he has had his moments in the orange and blue it’s hard to imagine they will bring him back. The status of Yoenis Cespedes is always up in the air due to the injuries he’s had. Assuming Robinson Cano and Jed Lowrie are healthy going into the season next year the Mets will once again have a lot of options for just 9 positions.
Options are a good thing to have throughout the long baseball season. However, the Mets have gotten great production this year from their younger stars and they should continue to build off that in the coming years. It’s not crazy to use Davis’ name in the same sentence as Pete Alonso and Jeff McNeil when talking about the Mets core.
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With Davis getting real playing time, he may just be scratching the surface of what he can do.