J.D. Davis was one of the Mets’ best players in 2019 and he was a huge reason they went on the second-half surge they did that season. He put up a 137 OPS+ and hit 22 home runs. In the two seasons since then, Davis has combined to hit 11 home runs. That is due to the shortened 2020 season and injury, but he also just has not been as good of a hitter.
Pitchers have learned about a weak spot up in the zone with fastballs and Davis has not been able to adjust to that since the 2019 season. In order for Davis to rediscover his 2019 form, I believe he has to learn to either lay off the high fastball or hit it.
Even with his offensive production decreasing, he is still a good hitter and I believe will always be a good hitter. This season he has slashed .285/.384/.436 with five home runs and 23 RBI in 179 at-bats. His 126 OPS+ is not too far off from 2019.
He has had good production while dealing with a left-hand sprain for most if not all of the season and has been put on the IL once again with the injury which will end his season. This shows me that he can definitely be the hitter he was a couple of years ago if he is healthy and tweaks some things.
The reason I believe the Mets should look to trade J.D. Davis is because of his defense. Davis is an awful defender at third base and has a -7 DRS in just 50 games played at third base this season.
The Mets have a lot of ways they can go this offseason to improve defense at the position while not losing much or even gaining with the bat.
They can re-sign Javy Baez and play him at second base while sliding Jeff McNeil over to third base. McNeil posted a 5 DRS at third base in 2019. While he did only play in 31 games at the position, his defense at second base shows me that he can at least be an improvement over Davis defensively at third.
Baez also is such a good defender I have no doubts that he would be an excellent third baseman while the Mets can play McNeil at his natural position of second base.
Another option they have is signing Kris Bryant in free agency. Bryant isn’t an all-world defender at third base, posting a -4 DRS in his career, but that is still an improvement over any season of J.D. Davis at third. Bryant’s defensive versatility makes him very valuable as well for when injuries occur, Davis only appeared in the field at third base this season and is not good in the outfield.
Like Dom Smith, Davis might be a guy who profiles better as a DH. With the Mets not really having that spot open, Davis is expendable.