Why JD Davis will steal the Mets’ DH spot permanently

j.d. davis, mets

The New York Mets are enjoying one of the greatest starts to a season in franchise history. With a 38-19 record, the Mets find themselves staked to a nine-game lead over the 2nd place Atlanta Braves in the National League East. All of this, with zero starts from Jacob deGrom and just eight from Max Scherzer.

Had you posed this situation to any Mets fan before the season, they’d likely ask, “What’s the catch?”

No catch. The Mets under Buck Showalter are playing like a first-place team in nearly every aspect of the game. Thanks to the additions from Billy Eppler this offseason, the Mets offense has blasted off. Mark Canha has been excellent all season long. After sluggish starts for Starling Marte and Eduardo Escobar, they both have been scorching at the plate.

Perhaps the one overlooked position during an otherwise brilliant offseason was designated, hitter.

Mets brass, after bearing the brunt of defensively challenged players for the last four years, believed that a mix of Robinson Cano, Dom Smith, and JD Davis would make a fine trio to take the DH at-bats.

Davis is the last man standing of that trio. And he might just be on his way to seizing the position for the remainder of the season.

The first 22 games of the season did not treat Davis well. In his first 46 at-bats, Davis hit .217 with just 1 home run and 4 RBI. However, even then, his .362 OBP was evidence of a potentially productive bat.

More impressive was Davis’ 69.4% hard-hit rate, higher than his career average by a 25% mark. Davis’ max exit velocity of 110.3 MPH falls into the 74th percentile in Major League Baseball.

Since May 13th (the 23rd game of his season), Davis has appeared in 15 games and is slashing .278/.322/.389 with a .711 OPS. Davis has put up good at-bats of late. On Monday, Davis drew a bases-loaded two-out walk after beginning the count behind 0-2. The walk brought in the first of the Mets’ three 1st inning runs off Blake Snell.

Going back to 2021, Davis barreled just 14 pitches. So far this year, Davis already has 9. While the power is still lacking (He’s still only hit 1 this season), Davis’ barrel percentage and exit velocity are evidence that he may be just hitting into some bad luck.

While Nick Plummer will certainly get some opportunities in the Mets lineup, JD Davis may be on the verge of entrenching himself as the Mets’ permanent designated hitter.

Mentioned in this article:

More about: