The Mets acquired J.D. Davis on Sunday in a trade with the Houston Astros that also brought the team minor league infielder, Cody Bohanek. In exchange, the Mets sent Luis Santana, Scott Manea, and Ross Adolph to Houston.
Whether or not the move was smart remains to be seen to an extent, but in the meantime, it is worth talking about Davis considering he is almost certain to spend a big chunk of the year, if not the entirety of it, with the Mets.
Davis, 25, was originally drafted in 2011 by the Tampa Bays Rays in the fifth round out of Elk Grove High School in California. However, he didn’t sign and went to California State University, Fullerton instead.
In 2014 he found himself drafted again, this time by the Houston Astros who took him with the first pick of the third round (75th overall).
From there, he would go on to split the year between the low-A Quad City River Bandits and Tri-City ValleyCats in which he hit .293/.371/.508 with 13 homers and 52 RBI over the course of 73 games.
The Astros would promote him to high-A Lancaster to start and finish the 2015 season in which he would continue to impress with a .289/.370/.520 slash line with 26 home runs and 101 RBI in 120 games.
Davis would move up to Double-A with the Corpus Christi Hooks in 2016 where he would see only very slight regression in terms of production as he still hit .268/.334/.485 with 23 home runs and 81 RBI in 126 games.
2017 would prove to be a year split across three levels for him as he would hit well in both Double-A Corpus Christi and Triple-A Fresno with a combined slash line of .282/.345/.527 to go along with 26 home runs and 76 RBI.
That would result in the Astros calling him up to the majors. He would appear in 25 games and hit .226/.279/.484 with four home runs and seven RBI to give himself a 101 wRC+ and 0.1 WAR. Davis would not be on the active roster for the World Series that year, though.
In 2018, Davis would come to Spring Training looking to earn an Opening Day roster spot which he would do so by hitting .385 and five home runs 65 at-bats.
However, he would spend most of the season in Triple-A as he hit a mere .175/.248/.223 with one home run and five RBI at the MLB level in 2018.
At the Triple-A level, he continued to rake, though, finishing with the Pacific Coast League batting title with a .342/.406/.583 slash line to go along with 17 home runs and 81 RBI.
In terms of what he brings to the Mets in 2019, Davis has the ability to played three positions at the MLB level (four if you count his 2 2/3 innings pitched in mop-up duty).
He grades out as average at first base and left field while he has -4 DRS and -0.3 UZR at the hot corner in 280 2/3 innings for his MLB career.
The team will have him under control through the 2024 season and he will not be arbitration eligible until after the 2021 season.
In the meantime, Davis will likely serve as depth for the Mets this season and potentially take a role similar to that of Wilmer Flores, having a 1.001 OPS against left-handers in the minors in 2018.