Brodie Van Wagenen hasn’t gotten much right since taking over the GM job with the Mets. The Robinson Cano – Edwin Diaz trade was a disaster from the start. Jed Lowrie was a zero. The same can be said for Jeurys Familia. BVW did get one thing right. JD Davis was a great pick up by New York. The Mets flat out stole Davis from the Astros.
Good teams often face 40 man roster crunches. That was no different with the Astros. Davis could never just crack that Stros big league lineup. In a small sample size, Davis had a batting line of .194/.260/.321 in 181 plate appearances with Houston. Davis performed drastically better at the AAA level which indicated that the talent probably was there – .335/.400/.589 with 22 home runs in 450 plate appearances.
The Mets struck a deal with Houston to acquire JD Davis. They flipped the Stros 3 lower level prospects that included Cody Bohanek going to the Mets as well. Houston wound up with Luis Santana, Ross Adolph, and Scott Manaea. Thus far, neither of the 3 prospects showed much if anything with the Astros organization. Neither of those 3 are even performing at the minor league level.
Davis did nothing but slug after coming to the Mets. Sure, Davis was a minus defensively. A -20 defensive runs saved number and -6.3 UZR rating isn’t great. Davis likely has more potential if he can stick at the hot corner rather than constantly roaming left field. Even with the poor defensive metrics, Davis was a smashing hit. Davis recorded a 1.0 WAR number and 2.4 fWar.
With the DH coming to the NL in 2020 (if there’s a season) Davis can easily slide into that role. The bat is legit or was in year one with New York posting a .307/.369/.527 (136 wRC+) with 22 home runs in 453 trips to the plate. Every advanced stat shows Davis is likely no fluke. His xwOBA (.383) ranked 21st overall in the sport. The Mets slugger also finished in the 80th percentile or better in barrels, exit velocity, expected slugging percentage, hard-hit rate, expected weighted on-base average and expected batting average. Barrell percentage was the only number in that bunch lower than the 90th percentile.
What’s more impressive is that Davis made a ton of contact and didn’t strike out. To only strike out 96 times in that amount of playing while posting high contact and power is impressive. Davis did miss more up in the zone but that’s part of the game now. The fact that he hit righties and lefties equally as well shows there’s not much to worry about with sustained success.
Brodie Van Wagenen hasn’t gotten much right with the Mets but he nailed this one. JD Davis was a home run acquisition and should be regarded as an essential piece of the future. Better yet, he won’t hit free agency until 2024 providing multiple future years of cheap production.