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NY Mets: Three most exciting spring training position battles

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 28: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) David Peterson #77 of the New York Mets in action against the New York Yankees during the second game of a doubleheader at Yankee Stadium on August 28, 2020 in New York City. The Mets defeated the Yankees 4-3.
All players are wearing #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day. The day honoring Jackie Robinson, traditionally held on April 15, was rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 28: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) David Peterson #77 of the New York Mets in action against the New York Yankees during the second game of a doubleheader at Yankee Stadium on August 28, 2020 in New York City. The Mets defeated the Yankees 4-3. All players are wearing #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day. The day honoring Jackie Robinson, traditionally held on April 15, was rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 09: J.D. Davis #28 of the New York Mets in action against the Baltimore Orioles at Citi Field on September 09, 2020 in New York City. New York Mets defeated the Baltimore Orioles 7-6. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Battle for: Third Base

All off-season long, the Mets were said to be interested in just about every player at every position. Of course, one of those being third base.

Prior to Nolan Arenado being dealt to the St. Louis Cardinals, the Mets were a potential destination. They were also rumored to be interested in Oakland Athletics’ Matt Chapman, and of course, the on-again and off-again talks with the Chicago Cubs about Kris Bryant.

Ultimately, the team stood pat, as J.D. Davis is the obvious choice for the position. The one-time bench bat for the Houston Astros has been a fantastic hitter for the Mets since being acquired in 2019. He owns a .288 average and .370 on-base percentage over 600 at-bats games to go with 28 home runs and 76 runs batted in.

At the same time, Davis has not found a natural home in the field. While his versatility is great, he has struggled in the field, whether in the outfield or at third base. In fact, since coming to New York, Davis has a mark of -19 when it comes to defensive runs saved.

Yes, he may be the favorite, but do not count out Jonathan Villar. The infielder comes to the Mets on a one-year deal hoping to regain his 2019 form, where he hit for career-highs in home runs (24) and runs batted in (73).

Villar is not much better than Davis at third, with -7 defensive runs saved in 54 games on the hot corner, though that was years ago when he last played, and he has improved defensively at other positions since.

The main competition at third will be between Davis and Villar this spring, although Jeff McNeil and Luis Guillorme certainly can play there sometimes too.

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