J.D. Davis was a breakout star for the New York Mets during his first full season in the big leagues. He emerged as one of the top hitters in the Mets lineup and reached the potential he showed throughout his minor league career. Davis was also one of the driving forces through their second half revival.
Davis was acquired from the Astros prior to the season for three low level prospects. He was a highly touted prospect in the Astros organization but was stuck behind Alex Bregman. With Bregman being younger and better defensively than Davis, he had no shot to play everyday in Houston. This is what made Davis such a cheap option to turn to and was Brodie Van Wagenen’s best move as general manager.
From Bench to Big Hitter
He came into spring training as a fringe big leaguer who had a very limited role on the roster. The plan was to use Davis as a pinch hitter and to replace Wilmer Flores as the lefty killer. He received a lot of playing time due to a strong April in which he hit .302, but struggled in May only hitting .219.
Is there anyone living better than JD Davis right now? My goodness. pic.twitter.com/AoMxUhKve4
— Steve Gelbs (@SteveGelbs) August 23, 2019
When Brandon Nimmo went down with his neck injury, the Mets were short in the outfield. Dom Smith emerged as the everyday left fielder for the time being, but Davis also made his case to earn some time in left field as well. An unfortunate injury to Smith opened up the opportunity for Davis to play everyday.
He ran with the opportunity and solidified his spot in left field. From July 27 (first day without Smith) through the end of the season Davis hit .328 with 13 home runs, 31 RBIs and had an OPS of .996. His defense still needs work but his bat alone has left Smith as the odd man out.
Davis immediately became a fan favorite due to his talent and loose personality. He embraced the fans and the fans reciprocated the love. Davis went from the 25th man on the roster to one of the Mets rising stars.
Hitting For Average: A, He has been a .300 hitter throughout the minors and show he can stick up here
Hitting For Power: B+, 22 home runs in 410 ABs is a solid year
Defense: D, He has a strong arm but is still a liability in the outfield. More experience should fix that
Baserunning/Speed: C, Swiped three bases but no speed to be found
Intangibles: A+, A great clubhouse guy who helped bring the team together