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J.D. Davis - Acquired In Five Player Trade with Houston

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  • J.D. Davis - Acquired In Five Player Trade with Houston

    Mets Acquire J.D. Davis


    by CONNOR BYRNE
    6 Jan 2019 at 12:20 PM CDT

    The Mets and Astros have swung a five-player trade centering on corner infielder/outfielder J.D. Davis, according to both teams. New York has acquired Davis and minor league infielder Cody Bohanek in exchange for three minor leaguers – second baseman Luis Santana, outfielder Ross Adolph and catcher Scott Manea.

    Click image for larger version  Name:	USATSI_10991948-768x914.jpg Views:	1 Size:	55.5 KB ID:	5337A third-round pick of the Astros in 2014, Davis ranked among the team’s top-15 prospects at Baseball America through the 2017 campaign. Davis has shown plenty of promise by raking in the minors, particularly at the Triple-A level, where he debuted in 2017 and has slashed .335/.400/.589 with 22 home runs in 450 plate appearances. He has also picked up experience at all four corner positions at Triple-A, though most of his professional work has come at third base.

    While Davis held his own in Houston’s system, he wasn’t much of a factor in the majors for the club. The right-handed batter performed decently across 68 PAs in 2017, the year the Astros won the World Series, but was ineffective across 113 trips last season. Thus far, Davis is just a .194/.260/.321 hitter with five homers in 181 major league PAs. Thanks in part to Davis’ big league struggles, not to mention the Astros’ collection of talent at the corners, they deemed him expendable.

    In New York, the soon-to-be 26-year-old Davis will provide depth behind third baseman Todd Frazier, whichever first baseman the Mets choose (be it Peter Alonso, Dominic Smith or Jeff McNeil) and corner outfielders Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto. With two minor league options remaining, the Mets won’t be under pressure to place Davis on their Opening Day roster. Bohanek, meanwhile, will surely start in the Mets’ minor league system, as the 23-year-old has totaled just 43 PAs above the High-A level since the Astros chose him in the 30th round of the 2017 draft.

    Of the players going to Houston, only Santana, 19, ranked among New York’s top 30 prospects at MLB.com. The 5-foot-8 Santana placed 24th, with the outlet lauding his “very advanced approach at the plate” and his makeup. Santana was dominant last season in rookie ball, where he hit .348/.446/.471 with more walks (27) than strikeouts (23) over 242 PAs. He’s a “shrewd” addition for the Astros, Keith Law of ESPN observes.

    Adolph, 22, joined the Mets in the 12th round of last summer’s draft. He then proceeded to slash .276/.348/.509 with seven homers and 14 steals in 264 PAs at the Low-A level. The 23-year-old Manea had been with the Mets since they grabbed him in the 40th round of the 2014 draft. He hasn’t yet gotten past Single-A, though Astros president Jeff Luhnow said Sunday (via Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle) that the team believes Manea “can move pretty quickly and has a chance to be a big league catcher.”

    Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports first reported the Mets were close to acquiring Davis. Andy Martino of SNY tweeted the Mets would get Davis and that the Astros would receive minor leaguers in the swap. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

    Drew's Sig

  • #2
    Another move I really like. Gives us an internal option at 3B in 2020 besides Jeff McNeil. Maybe they'll platoon.

    Comment


    • #3
      Seth Lugo was involved in the Astros talks. Glad to see we kept him.

      Comment


      • #4
        If this is BVWs replacement for Wilmer Flores....he did well!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by jeffmetsfan View Post
          If this is BVWs replacement for Wilmer Flores....he did well!
          I don't know about that. Wilmer has proven that he can hit at the major league level, Davis has not.

          Comment


          • #6
            The Astros brought JD up 3 times last season as well as a Aug. call up in 2017 when he hit .226/.279/.484/.763 in 24 G, 14 GS and sat 28 G . Good power but 29+% strikeouts.

            The Astros still had options on Davis, but after last season, my guess would be that he was tying up a spot on the 40 man and while he was killing it at AAA he was totally lost at the plate. In total he spent 66 games with the Stros, appeared in 42 and started 23. At 25 with 6 yrs. of control, here's hoping he isn't one of those very common AAAA types.

            Plawecki was an expendable backup C with no bat and avg. defensive skills...with only Stassi the only remaining C from 2018 Plawecki will play. Still like the trade, low risk and major potential for a big win.

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            • #7
              If Davis hits somewhere near his AAA numbers, it's a great trade for us. What worries me is that he played his home games in Fresno, so how much of those gaudy offensive numbers were Pacific League driven.

              We'll find out.

              Comment


              • #8
                Talked to several Astros fan co-workers regarding Davis. Their take (not mine, I have no prior knowledge of him)…

                Very good hitter with pop, not too fast, very good arm. Definitely a corner guy only. Felt that a bit of his less than stellar showing in MLB may be attributed to going up & down as a call-up. Not a star, but they thought he should be better than he had demonstrated so far.

                Comment


                • saxon
                  saxon commented
                  Editing a comment
                  plus with the Astros being a championship caliber team, his opportunities were probably very limited at the MLB level...

                  Mike Schmidt's first 2 partial seasons in the majors:
                  .196
                  151 strikeouts in 483 Plate Appearances;
                  (Minor League OPS: .853);

                  Davis's first 2 partial seasons in the majors:
                  .194;
                  49 strikeouts in 181 Plate Appearances;
                  (minor league OPS: .884);

                  181 MLB Plate Appearances on a top rated team is hardly time to write off a guy as being a AAAA player

              • #9
                I don't know if it's been mentioned but...

                Davis has also pitched in 3 games at the MLB level (no idea about the minors/college/HS/LL).
                He has faced 11 batters:
                4 strikeouts;
                1 walk;
                1 HR;
                1 single;

                Comment


                • #10
                  Originally posted by saxon View Post
                  I don't know if it's been mentioned but...

                  Davis has also pitched in 3 games at the MLB level (no idea about the minors/college/HS/LL).
                  He has faced 11 batters:
                  4 strikeouts;
                  1 walk;
                  1 HR;
                  1 single;
                  upon further review, Davis pitched for 3 seasons in NCAA for Cal State Fullerton,
                  66 innings, 2.98 ERA; 1.25 WHIP; 48 strikeouts; 14 walks; 4 HRs allowed...he was a starter as a Freshman, and a reliever as a Sophomore/Junior, he had much better stats in his last 2 season.
                  He also pitched 2 summers in summer leagues (cape cod league, northwoods league)



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                  • #11
                    So he CAN be a 2-way player. He can leave 3b during the inning to pitch to a few batter and then go right back to 3b. HA

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                    • jeffmetsfan
                      jeffmetsfan commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I'd love to know when the last time something like that happened in a major league game. Where a position player vacates his position to pitch and then returns to his position.

                    • NY FANG
                      NY FANG commented
                      Editing a comment
                      prob as recently as last year if I had to guess. Position player asked to mop up an inning or two in a blow out, and then went back to his position after.

                    • saxon
                      saxon commented
                      Editing a comment
                      do you count Jesse Orosco and Roger McDowell, when they alternated between pitching, Left and Right with Rusty Staub?

                  • #12
                    JD Davis says he's ready to pitch...

                    J.D. Davis talks about two-way potential



                    NEW YORK -- The precedent that Shohei Ohtani set this season, starring for the Angels both on the mound and at the plate, appears to be becoming a trend. Two years ago, the Rays drafted college star Brendan McKay fourth overall with the intent of making him a two-way player. More and more, Major League teams are seeking skill sets of that ilk.

                    The Mets and J.D. Davis may not be prepared to enter those ranks quite yet, but they're at least entertaining the idea. Since acquiring him in a five-player trade on Jan. 6, general manager Brodie Van Wagenen has twice mentioned Davis' pitching ability as a factor going forward. The Mets won't enter Spring Training with a concrete plan to have him throw bullpen sessions or work as a pitcher, according to club officials, but they will gauge the situation after putting eyes on him for the first time in February.

                    If they ultimately decide to try Davis on the mound, he's all for it.

                    "I feel like the game is changing in a way where two-way guys are emerging," he said last week in a telephone interview. "Ohtani opened that door. I think it was already cracked open, but he blew it open with what he brought to the table. It opened some eyes to the league and the value of a player who can do both."

                    Despite his 92-mph fastball, Davis sees himself as a hitter first, and the Mets agree. They traded three prospects for him because they were enamored with the 25-year-old's right-handed power, which they envision as a replacement for that of longtime bench bat Wilmer Flores. In 85 games last year at Triple-A Fresno, Davis batted .342 with 17 homers, 25 doubles and a .988 OPS. While he hit just .175 with one home run in 42 Major League games last season, he sees that as a product of inconsistent playing time, blocked in Houston by superstar Alex Bregman.

                    Video: J.D. Davis describes the way he plays the game

                    In New York, Davis adds depth at third base behind Todd Frazier and Jed Lowrie, and he'll serve as an option at first should the Mets decide to start Peter Alonso in the Minors. He is also capable of playing at both corner outfield spots, where his arm can be a difference-maker.

                    "J.D. Davis gives us another really versatile offensive-minded player," Van Wagenen said. "With what he's accomplished the last couple of years in Triple-A and the Minor Leagues, he's proven that he can be an added value to us on the big league roster."

                    Davis does have Minor League options remaining, allowing the Mets to hang onto his rights even if he doesn't make the team. As such, he plans to report to Spring Training "trying to outwork everybody, and trying to take those extra swings in the cage, those extra reps on the field, doing the work in the gym."

                    "I'm just around the corner," Davis said. "I feel like if I get the opportunity and I get the at-bats to at least fail, then I have no doubt that I will turn the corner and I will start turning some heads. I have absolutely all the confidence in the world in myself."

                    If that involves some extra pitching work along the way, Davis won't say no. Although he hasn't thrown any formal bullpen sessions since leaving Cal State Fullerton, where he posted a 2.98 ERA over three seasons, he has thrice pitched in lopsided games for the Astros. Last year, American League Cy Young Award contender Gerrit Cole noticed Davis' ability during a game of catch and started giving his teammate pointers on curveballs and sliders.

                    Perhaps Davis will soon have a chance to use the advice.

                    "Whatever I can do," he said. "It's a set skill that I have -- a good arm and a good fastball -- I can go out there and compete and throw some strikes and get some outs, that's for sure."

                    Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.
                    NEW YORK -- The precedent that Shohei Ohtani set this season, starring for the Angels both on the mound and at the plate, appears to be becoming a trend. Two years ago, the Rays drafted college star Brendan McKay fourth overall with the intent of making him a two-way player. More and more, Major League teams are seeking skill sets of that ilk. The Mets and J.D. Davis may not be prepared to enter those ranks quite yet, but they're at least entertaining the idea. Since acquiring him in a five-player trade on Jan. 6, general manager Brodie Van Wagenen has twice mentioned Davis' pitching ability as a factor going forward. The Mets won't enter Spring Training with a concrete plan to have him throw bullpen sessions or work as a pitcher, according to club officials, but they will gauge the situation after putting eyes on him for the first time in February.

                    Comment


                    • #13
                      as much as articles/perceptions say "he hasn't hit at the MLB level"; he's a young 3rd baseman that was behind Alex Bregman on the Astros depth charts...Bregman, had 31 HRs, 51 doubles, 105 Runs, 103 RBI, a .926 OPS; and only 85 strikeouts to go along side 96 walks...it doesn't exactly open up a lot of regular playing time for the 2nd 3rd baseman in an organization that won the World Series the year before...

                      Comment


                      • #14
                        I don't follow the Astros minor leaguers at all, but my Astros fan buddies down here all think we got an excellent deal.

                        Comment


                        • #15
                          I am very intrigued by the two-way player concept. Especially if it's a player like Davis who may never be a full time starting position player. Having that skill to pitch while also being able to play at other positions and hit, it gives a team a ton of flexibility. For example, say it's the 6th inning and the team is down a couple of runs with bases loaded and 2 outs. Ready for a pinch hitter...so you pinch hit JD Davis. Whether he comes through with a big hit or not, he can become the relief pitcher to start next inning. In the event he starts to struggle, you bring in someone to spell him, but he can stay in at another position on the field to keep the bar in play. It's the type of flexibility you see in Little league and I've never seen in my 22 years of watching baseball.

                          Mark my words, by 2030, the two-way player will be the norm on every team. They may not have the most value to a team, but it'll be a new approach like the LOOGY started 15/20 years ago .

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