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NY Mets: J.D. Davis might not be the slugger we thought he was

Sep 7, 2020; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets third baseman J.D. Davis (28) singles against the Philadelphia Phillies during the seventh inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 7, 2020; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets third baseman J.D. Davis (28) singles against the Philadelphia Phillies during the seventh inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
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J.D. Davis was a true slugger for the New York Mets in 2019. In 2020, his slugging percentage took a huge dive. Is this the real Just Dingers?

J.D. Davis had about half as many plate appearances in 2020 as he did the year prior. As one of the breakout players of the 2019 New York Mets, I was hoping to see him do even more this past year.

Unfortunately, Davis’ offensive numbers didn’t come close to matching what he did in his inaugural Mets’ season. His batting average dropped 60 points but his OBP actually went up two points. Most alarming of all, Davis saw his slugging percentage go from .527 down to .389.

One of the best parts of watching Davis play in 2019 was how well he could hit for power. It began to look like the Mets had a complementary right-handed slugger in the lineup that could give them a boost when Pete Alonso was struggling.

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This wasn’t the case in 2020 during the Polar Bear’s struggles. While Davis wasn’t nearly as ineffective in some areas as Alonso, he definitely wasn’t the same middle-of-the-order threat he was previously.

Davis definitely does have pop in his bat. What we saw in 2019 wasn’t some abnormality. Throughout his minor league career, Davis was a guy that could pop 20+ bombs easily.

The season wasn’t a complete waste of time for Davis, though. Let me make sure that’s perfectly clear. He managed to show he can play a steady third base. Davis also improved his eye at the plate.

In 453 opportunities, Davis drew 38 walks in 2019. This past season, in 229 trips to the plate, Davis walked 31 times. It’s the major reason why his OBP went up despite a big dip in his batting average.

I wouldn’t consider Davis a young player. I would, though, say he’s young to Major League Baseball.

The 2019 season is his only full campaign in the big leagues. He’s still trying to figure some things out. As we watch on, we’re also trying to determine what type of player he is now and will continue to grow into.

After 2019, Davis looked like someone with the potential to smash 30 home runs in his sleep. He hit 22 in 453 plate appearances. Give him 100-150 more as an everyday player for a full season, he’s reaching 30 without a problem.

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Things are a little different now. Davis didn’t slug home runs at the same rate this past season. While we need to remember everything about 2020 was whacky, it’s certainly something to pay attention to.

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