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NY Mets: 6 people to have doubts about going into 2022

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 20: Jeff McNeil #6 of the New York Mets react at home plate umpire Nestor Ceja #103 after striking out with players in scoring positions during the eight inning against Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on August 20, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 20: Jeff McNeil #6 of the New York Mets react at home plate umpire Nestor Ceja #103 after striking out with players in scoring positions during the eight inning against Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on August 20, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
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Mets
May 1, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New York Mets third baseman J.D. Davis (28) catches a fly ball against the Philadelphia Phillies in the third inning at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Kam Nedd-USA TODAY Sports

How many Mets fans cringe when a ball gets hit to J.D. Davis?

The one-handed All-Star, as Keith Hernandez likes to say, dealt with a nagging hand injury for most of the season. He was still able to produce offensively, putting up an .820 OPS and 126 OPS+ and a 130 wRC+. His offensive isn’t the problem here. In three seasons with the Mets, he has slashed .288/.354/.446/.845. He set his career-high in homers (22), doubles (22), RBI (57) and OPS+ (137) in 2019.

His problem is his defense. In 382 innings at third base, he had a -7 Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) and a -3 Outs Above Average (OAA). All three of those came to his left. He does have a very strong arm, but he gets gun-shy about using it. He’s played left field in the past too, but he hasn’t been any better there. He put up a -8 DRS and -7 OAA there in 585 innings. Needless to say, that doesn’t work.

Obviously, when you have a player who can swing the bat like Davis does, but can’t play the field, the first thought is “put him at DH.” If the universal DH is finally implemented in the new CBA for the 2022 season and beyond, he is a candidate to get some time there. That solves the he-can’t-play-defense issue, while getting his powerful, on-base approach into the lineup. However, there are other, better candidates the Mets could put at DH.

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