The question of “what position should J.D. Davis play?” has been answered for the New York Mets with the addition of the DH.
Capable of playing third base, left field, and even taking the mound, Davis is not especially good at any of them. Fortunately, a permanent stay by the DH in the National League can help solve this.
Davis feels like a natural DH. While some Mets fans might make an argument to Pete Alonso there and allow Dominic Smith to play first base or even vice versa, I don’t think that gives the team its best lineup. Sure, it can work sometimes. But I also believe Smith is bound to get traded sooner or later anyway thus negating the whole argument entirely.
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I’m not here to argue about what the Mets roster should or shouldn’t look like. Instead, I want to convince you why Davis should see a lot of action in the DH role.
There’s no question Davis was a poor outfielder and possibly even worse third baseman in 2019. He was a -2.4 WAR on defense, ruining his otherwise healthy WAR posted while at the plate. He helped make up for it with a 3.1 WAR season exclusively on offense, but the bad number with a glove on his left hand dragged the number down significantly.
Some will still argue Davis is a trade candidate for the Mets to shop. I don’t like this in the least bit. You don’t trade a guy who has 30+ home run potential and can hit .300.
The Mets have a roster that lines up well to move Davis to the DH spot in 2021 on a nearly permanent basis. Brandon Nimmo can become the everyday left fielder with the team targeting one of the many available talented center fielders in free agency.
It makes a lot of sense. Nimmo moves to a position he’s better at defensively, the Mets upgrade in center field on offense and defense, and Davis gets to play every day without the worry of making errors in the field.
This wouldn’t be the end of Davis playing the outfield. Occasionally, he’d need to go out there either due to an injury or an off-day. Plus, if Robinson Cano can remember how to hit again, he might stay a little fresher with a start at the DH spot every so often.
If 2020 has taught me anything it’s that we need to be prepared for anything. We all knew the DH was coming to the NL at some point. I’m not sure any of us would have predicted a global pandemic would be its catalyst.
I’m hopeful Davis has a long career with the Mets. He’s one of my favorite Mets on the team.
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That said—I wouldn’t mind if I never saw him with a baseball glove on again. His name is Just Dingers Davis. He’s a man built for hitting, not for fielding.