JD Davis shrugs off the rumors and is happy to be a member of the Mets

Feb 25, 2020; Lakeland, Florida, USA; New York Mets third baseman J.D. Davis (28) throws to first for an out against the Detroit Tigers during the fifth inning at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets, according to some, have a glaring hole at third base and needed to go after Justin Turner (who ended up re-signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers) or Kris Bryant via trade. However, that is not the case.

Sure, JD Davis is not a good defensive third baseman. After all, the Mets’ slugger had a -8 Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) mark in 2020 and wasn’t much better in Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR) or Outs Above Average (OAA.)

However, what he does carry is offensive potential. Last season, even after slashing an ugly .247/.371/.389 line, he had an above-average 116 wRC+. Most of his struggles hitting for power stem from the fact that his GB% increased from 47.0 in 2019 to 56.3 in 2020. You won’t hit many homers if you don’t lift the ball.

Thankfully, the Mets will have hitting coach Chili Davis available this time. Last season, he opted not to be with the team because of COVID-19.

The Davises worked together over the offseason to correct some issues in JD’s swing, Anthony DiComo of MLB.com reported today.

Davis says he is not really a social media guy, but at some point, the rumors had to be hard to ignore.

The Mets’ plans for him

Although Mets’ manager Luis Rojas talked about Davis’ versatility and the possibility of him playing some outfield, general manager Zack Scott said the organization is “comfortable” entering the season with him at the top of the third base depth chart.

“I think it’s actually pretty cool to be in a package deal with Nolan Arenado and Matt Chapman and Kris Bryant,” Davis said on Wednesday, shrugging off the rumors. “It says a lot where I’ve come from as a player, so it is what it is. I have full confidence in my capability. I’m a Major Leaguer, and I’m a big leaguer, and I know that, and I’m going to stand behind that. And I love these guys. I love this organization. … Am I happy to be a Met? Absolutely.”

It’s not easy to forget that Davis slugged 22 homers on his way to a .307/.369/.527 slash line over 453 plate appearances. The fact that he knows that he will play mostly third base for the Mets also helps.

“It’s huge when you go into a Spring Training where you know what position you’re going to play, or the majority of where you’re going to play,” he said.

All in all, the Mets are hoping for a big bounceback season from Davis.