2021 Mets X-Factor #1

What a wild ride it’s been.

Sandy Alderson essentially inherited the same core of players he left behind two years ago. Well, that same core minus Zack Wheeler, Simeon Woods- Richardson and Jarred Kelenic

Hopefully, time will be kind to Brodie Van Wagenen. If certain players pan out we may, one day, be able to look at his time here as less of a disaster. (Doubtful.)

As the major league talent he acquired mostly consisted of washed up fourth outfielders, what’s left of Brodie’s legacy will ultimately be defined by his drafts.

However, he did acquire two players who could pay dividends for the Mets in 2021 and beyond.

Let’s talk about one of those players now.

Our first X-Factor. J.D Davis.

First things first. I like Davis. I think this is one of the most likable Met teams ever constructed and J.D is responsible for a lot of the clubhouse chemistry.

Our top prospect, Ronny Mauricio, has even listed JD Davis as someone who he has learned from in camp.

But, my God in heaven. I wish we could set his glove on fire and bury it.

The Mets said yesterday, through Luis Rojas, that they were not letting any of their pitchers hit as they were still waiting on official word about the DH in 2021.

I think it’s absolutely ludicrous that MLB let teams go through an entire free agency cycle without making an official decision about whether or not there will be a designated hitter in the National League.

I think it’s asinine that they want pitchers to hit again after essentially taking a year off from it.

But if they decide to implement the DH  for 2021 TWO WEEKS into Spring Training?! Well, that’s just criminal.

But let’s not get ourselves worked up just yet. Let’s just assume there will be no DH in 2021. The Mets have a problem.

Pete Alonso, Dominic Smith, Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo, and J.D Davis combined for -21 OAA in 2020.

Let’s exclude Michael Conforto. Everyone else listed above has only had one good season. (Hey, don’t shoot the messenger. I love these guys, but it is what it is.)

Now, if there isn’t a lockout, it’s almost a certainty that there will be a universal DH in 2022.

Dominic Smith will move to first base. Pete Alonso will be the team’s DH. Brandon Nimmo gets on base at an elite clip.

What’s keeping J.D Davis around?

For the first time in forever, the Mets have legitimate third base prospects in the system. (Mark Vientos, Brett Baty, Ronny Mauricio.)

If a team like the Reds or Cubs fall out of contention, the Mets may look to make an upgrade. (Kris Bryant, Eugenio Suarez etc.)

This is all hypothetical of course.

So, let’s find a way for Davis to stick around and help the team. By doing that he’d save the Mets some trade capital, so win-win all around.

Let’s throw 2020 out the window. The abbreviated season. The multiple shortened spring trainings which took place months apart. Mulligan.

J.D Davis has a second chance to improve on his 2019 campaign.

Davis looked like a professional hitter in 2019. Over 410 at bats he had an impressive slash line of .307 .369 .527. He had 22 home runs and it seemed like every one of them were clutch.

Now, if Davis can be who he was in 2019 or better than we might have the deepest lineup in baseball. Another right handed bat would do wonders for the Mets in 2021.

If the Davis from 2020 reappears? Well, that’s a problem.

You’ve read the reports about Davis working on his defense. Sure, having Lindor to his left will help a lot. But, J.D’s value is going to come from his bat.

It’s possible that his defense improves. But realistically, I’m just hoping he’s serviceable defensively and has a monster year at the plate.

If his bat doesn’t warrant him playing everyday then things get dicey. We would have to start plugging in fringe options in the lineup. Jeff McNeil would likely have to man the hot corner.

(We could get extreme and play Guillorme at third everyday. 🤷‍♂️)

A lot of things could happen.

But I think the best case scenario for the Mets is one that has J.D playing everyday.

In that scenario, Davis would be holding his own defensively and mashing at the plate.

That makes J.D Davis….