3 SF Giants players who improved their stock the most with a strong finish
2. First baseman J.D. Davis
Besides Joc Pederson, there was not a Giants hitter who demonstrated more power than J.D. Davis. The Giants acquired the power bat along with three pitching prospects from the New York Mets in exchange for Darin Ruf at the trade deadline.
Even if this trade was a one-for-one swap, it was a move that the Giants definitively won. However, the fact that the San Francisco received a potential leverage reliever in Thomas Szapucki and two intriguing prospects in Nick Zwatt and Carson Seymour makes the move look even more like a victory.
Davis' skill set is tough to project because he is a solidly above-average hitter but he does not really have a position on defense. He finished the year seeing more time at first base as the Giants tried to get his bat in the lineup more often.
Given that the Giants might not pursue a reunion with longtime first baseman Brandon Belt, it stands to reason that Davis could be a serviceable replacement. To his credit, Davis flashed impressive power potential.
Following the trade, the right-handed bat slashed .265/.359/.500 (143 wRC+) with eight home runs, 14 RBI, and 20 runs in 154 plate appearances with the Giants. This includes an 11.5 percent walk rate against a 34.6 percent strikeout rate.
The 29-year-old is the modern-day hitter in that his plate appearances typically end in a strikeout, walk, or a home run. The good news is that he does plenty of the latter two options.
Davis is under team control for two more seasons and he is due a modest raise from his $2.9 million salary in 2022. The Giants already have Wilmer Flores under contract for next season after signing a two-year, $13 million extension and it is difficult to ignore that he and Davis fill similar roles.
That said, the Giants should be able to split time with both at first base and DH, but they cannot really add any more defensively-limited players who hit from the right side if they are going with these two. The good news is that both are platoon-proof players, so they should both see a healthy dose of playing time.