How does new acquisition J.D. Davis fit onto the SF Giants roster?

Los Angeles Dodgers v San Francisco Giants
Los Angeles Dodgers v San Francisco Giants / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

The SF Giants did not meaningfully impact the roster at the deadline but they did add a potentially potent bat in J.D. Davis. Davis' profile has some wrinkles in it, especially on defense, but he might be a breath of fresh air to many Giants fans.

How does new acquisition J.D. Davis fit onto the SF Giants roster?

At 51-55, the Giants are still in the shadows of playoff contention as they are 6.5 games behind the Milwaukee Brewers, St. Louis Cardinals, and Philadelphia Phillies for the third and final Wild Card spot. One of the Brewers or Cardinals will win the NL Central, so there are realistically only two teams ahead of San Francisco.

Can they come back from a 6.5-game deficit? if you have watched them play recently, the answer seems highly unlikely. They are 3-12 since the All-Star break after being swept by the Los Angeles Dodgers at home. They have struggled in many facets of the game, but the offense has gone silent as it has averaged 2.9 runs per game over the last 15 games. To put it differently, they are not playing at all like a playoff team.

That said, the addition of Davis should add a little extra excitement for fans. One of the bigger criticisms so far in 2022 has been manager Gabe Kapler's use of platoons to try and squeeze more offense out of the lineup.

That has not worked recently as the Giants have struggled to the tune of a .612 OPS in the second half. That does not mean that platoons do not work, but rather that the results have not been there recently.

For those who do not like all of the platooning with the Giants roster, then Davis is your type of player. In his six-year career, the right-handed bat has registered a .266/.349/.431 line (113 OPS+) with a 9.9 percent walk rate against a 26.2 percent strikeout rate.

His numbers had not been quite as good with the New York Mets as he posted a 95 OPS+ with just for home runs in 207 plate appearances. Health could be a factor as the 29-year-old underwent surgery this past offseason to repair a torn ligament in his left hand.

However, he typically has hit well regardless of the type of pitcher he is facing. In his career, Davis has registered a solid .774 OPS against left-handed pitching, but he has posted a .784 OPS against right-handed pitching. He will definitely be in the lineup against lefties, but he should see playing time against righties as well. Davis is not too dissimilar to Wilmer Flores in terms of production and potential usage.

His bat should keep him in the lineup, but it might be difficult to find a position for him on defense. The six-year veteran has experience at first base, third base, and left field. The defensive metrics suggest that he is well below average at third base as he has been worth -27 DRS and -10 OAA in his career. Though, he has flashed a solid arm already and he might be passable at first base and left field.

It is an imperfect fit, but Davis can definitely hit. Finding a role for him on defense will be a challenge and the Giants will have the next couple of months to figure that out.