In an article by Anthony DiComo of MLB.com, New York Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen describes minor leaguer J.D. Davis as a “really versatile offensive-minded player”, which, to this writer, seems like the exact mold of player the first-time GM has been looking to stock up on this offseason.
Acquired from the Houston Astros on January 6 — along with minor-league infielder Cody Bohanek — in exchange for Mets prospects Ross Adolph, Luis Santana, and Scott Manea, Davis, 25, appears to be ready to take the big stage again, telling DiComo he’s “just around the corner” in his development.
Davis’ offensive exploits through two seasons with Triple-A Fresno (101 games, 450 plate appearances; 2017 and 2018) give a glimpse of just what type of ballplayer the Mets gave up three decent prospects for, and how high his ceiling could very well be. Over those 450 plate appearances, Davis slashed .335/.400/.589 with 22 home runs, 99 runs batted in, 30 doubles, and 87 strikeouts.
While his numbers were respectable through two seasons with Double-A Corpus Christi (.273/.337/.495, 44 home runs, 141 RBI, 52 doubles, 233 strikeouts in 213 games/927 plate appearances; 2016 and 2017) something obviously clicked for the now-25-year-old as he progressed through the minors.
Unfortunately, Davis wasn’t able to translate his MiLB success over to the majors. Over 181 plate appearances with the Astros between 2017 and 2018, Davis hit just .194/.260/.321. But with a new home and what appears to be a head full of steam, J.D. Davis could fit in very well with this current Mets team.
“With what [Davis has] accomplished the last couple of years in Triple-A and the minor leagues,” Van Wagenen told DiComo. “He’s proven that he can be an added value to us on the big league roster.”
Along with his bat and his defensive versatility, Davis also brings another wrinkle to his game; the potential to pitch. Whether he gets that chance with the Mets is undetermined at this point, but, as per DiComo, once the Mets get a look at Davis in Spring Training, team officials will “gauge the situation”.
“Whatever I can do. It’s a skill set that I have — a good arm and a good fastball,” Davis told DiComo. “I can go out there and compete and […] get some outs, that’s for sure.”
Pitching prowess aside, J.D. Davis adds much-needed depth to this organization’s extended roster. And, apparently, Davis is practically frothing at the mouth for another chance to prove himself at the highest level.
“[I’ll be] trying to outwork everybody, and trying to take those extra swings in the cage, those extra reps on the field, doing work in the gym,” Davis said. “I feel like if I get the opportunity […] I will start turning some heads. I have absolutely all the confidence in the world in myself.”
Whether Davis does indeed find a spot on the Mets bench is unknown, but with his capability to play multiple defensive positions and swing the bat well, it doesn’t seem very far-fetched to envision Davis as the proverbial “next man up” in case of injury or underperformance towards the end of the positional roster.
We shall see.