Jonathan Gregory “J.D.” Davis has quietly assumed a significant role in the New York Mets offense. His heroics last night only conceal what he has done all year…
J.D. Davis sits ominously in the fifth or six-hole as the regular left-fielder in the lineup of the New York Mets. It took almost the entire first half of the season for that to happen. Overlooked and a victim of the circus surrounding the Mets at the time, Davis patiently waited for the Mets to sort things out. When the opportunity came, J.D. Davis pounced on it.
Davis’s walk-off base hit in the tenth inning of another come from behind win over the Cleveland Indians shines a spotlight squarely on him. But he’s been doing it off and for 109 games now. A .310 batting average, 15 home runs, and 44 RBI over a half-season of at-bats (309) says so. Couple that with a .888 OPS, a full 140 points over the league average, and you’ve got yourself, one helluva run producer.
J.D. Davis is not typical of the homegrown Mets we see on the field today. His arrival in New York came with a little-noticed blurb listed in MLB Transactions. It looked like this:
January 6, 2019: (J. D. Davis) Traded by the Houston Astros with Cody Bohanek (minors) to the New York Mets for Ross Adolph (minors), Scott Manea (minors) and Luis Santana (minors).
Following the earlier spectacle of Brodie Van Wagenen’s gun-slinging trades to acquire Robinson Cano, Edwin Diaz, and later Jed Lowrie – the arrival of Davis hardly caused a ripple in the pond.
Cano and Lowrie have been riddled with injuries. Neither has been a factor during the Mets run that has turned their season around. And we’re still waiting for Diaz to find his slider.
It could very well be that J.D. Davis has saved the thin skin of Van Wagenen, vindicating the beleaguered GM for his questionable deals earlier in the winter.
J.D. Davis: A Baseball Story
What could Brodie have known about Davis the Astros didn’t know after four years in their system? The question is akin to asking the same about the connection between Brian Cashman and Gio Urshela, the Yankee’s third baseman who’s hitting .340 with a chance to earn a Batting Title. As a GM, you just never know.
Most likely, the turnarounds we see with players like Davis and Urshela have more to do with the player himself. A change of scenery is often a factor. Moving closer to home and family can weigh heavily at times, as in the case of Joe Panik‘s revival with the Mets.
In the case of J.D. Davis though, it could be as simple as having the opportunity to be himself. To be in a city where swagger is commonplace and even expected. Grabbing the microphone last night, it was almost like this was the moment he had been waiting for since coming to New York, letting it rip, – this is J.D. Davis.
And perhaps, as much as Davis referred to and talked about the success of the Mets and their dogged determination to never give up, to always battle – J.D. Davis was talking about himself and his personal struggle to be where he is today – a hero in the Big Apple.
His is a baseball story as compelling as the previous and the next one. “Put me in coach, I’m ready to play”. The cry from the minor leagues or from the bench in the big leagues. Just give me a chance…
J.D. Davis waited and waited. When the chance came with the Mets, he made the grade – and more. And the Mets are fortunate to be the recipient…
Hold on…watch this!