J.D. Davis needs universal DH to stay with New York Mets

Sep 13, 2021; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets third baseman J.D. Davis (28) hits a single during the seventh inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 13, 2021; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets third baseman J.D. Davis (28) hits a single during the seventh inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports /
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J.D. Davis may have been the best acquisition of Brodie Van Wagenen’s tenure as the New York Mets general manager. The former top prospect was blocked at the major league level with the Astros, allowing the Mets to bring him on board for a trio of minor leaguers. He had hit well in the minors, showing excellent power, but that had not manifested during his brief time in Houston.

Given his chance in New York, Davis has been able to prove that he can be a solid part of the lineup. While he has not hit for as much power with the Mets as he did during his minor league career, his 129 OPS+ over the past three seasons is certainly worthy of being in the lineup.

New York Mets need a place for J.D. Davis

The problem is that, as good as Davis may be with the bat, he is equally rough defensively. He has cost his teams 18 runs defensively at third base in 160 games, showing what would happen with a full season at the position. Davis has been worse in the outfield, costing his teams 12 runs in just 96 games.

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Davis has been solid at first, saving two runs defensively at the position. The problem is that the Mets have a Pete Alonso sized roadblock at first, essentially leaving Davis without a position. It is not a surprise that he would be on the trade block given his inability to fit into a position defensively.

His future in New York may rest on what happens with the Collective Bargaining Agreement and any potential rule changes. Davis is the perfect player for a designated hitter role, someone who can provide a solid plate appearance, but whose glove would keep him out of the lineup.

The designated hitter is expected to come to the National League, perhaps as soon as 2022. If that happens, the Mets will not need to find a taker for Davis and can keep him for that role. Otherwise, a trade could be forthcoming as he is a player without a position in New York.

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J.D. Davis can still be a useful piece for the New York Mets. It just may take the designated hitter coming to the National League for that to happen.