Houston Astros: J.D. Davis should be the Opening Day starter at 1st base

PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - MARCH 06: First baseman J.D. Davis
PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - MARCH 06: First baseman J.D. Davis /

The Houston Astros are almost to the finish line, with today being last contest of Spring Training before they’ll pack up the trucks and head back home to the city that loves this team so much.  We all love position battles and the one at first base has been heated.  But because of his strong performance, I unequivocally nominate J.D. Davis as the Opening Day starter at first base.  Let’s take a look to examine further.

The mighty Houston Astros are back and better than ever.  They’ll be looking to defend their World Series championship and to win it back-to-back.  It’s something that is not as common it’s been two decades since that feat has been completed.

Who was the last team to do it?  It was the New York Yankees. Ewwwwwww.  I even hate to mention their name just for reference purposes but they’re the latest in the history books to do this so I must mention them.

They had dynasty going back in the late 1990s, with them winning three World Series in a row from 1998-00.  We all know of their dominance back then but that’s the past.  We overpowered them in the ALCS and we will do the same this season despite them bolstering their lineup with the acquisition of Giancarlo Stanton from the Miami Marlins.

The Houston Astros have a terrific chance to win it all once again but we just need one of those seasons where just about everything goes right and the promised land will be here before we know it.  The tremendous depth that we have is amazing and when injuries happen — as should be expected — the team will continue to chug along with superior precision.

Yuri Gurriel won’t likely return until late April because of surgery to remove the hamate bone in his hand plus the suspension he will serve for his infamous “eye-squint” incident toward Yu Darvish back in the World Series.  I’d say the Houston Astros will take their time in bringing him back as the MLB season is a hell of a marathon, not a sprint.  Typically, players who undergo these surgeries will lose their power for a bit but it eventually comes back over time.

Because of he needing to rehabilitate appropriately, there is a dire need for a fill-in that can

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produce results to help this team make a quick and hearty start out of the gate.  The Houston Astros are eyeing either J.D. Davis or Tyler White to get the start at first base to fill-in for Gurriel.

Who’s the clear winner after Spring Training?  None other than J.D. Davis in my opinion.  I’ve always been quite fond of him, particularly with his versatility.  That’s an asset that will allow a professional ballplayer to make any roster, especially when he’s good at what he does.  One-dimensional players are thing of yesteryear and if you can do more than one thing quite well, consider yourself signed, sealed and delivered to the team of your choice.

Just ask Marwin Gonzalez.

But the proof is in the pudding so let’s compare the two.  Before the start of today’s game, Davis’ slash line was .365/.393/.712 along with five homers and nine ribbies.  In contrast, White’s numbers are .225/.346/.476 with two homers and eight RBIs.  That’s hardly much of a comparison and just based off those numbers alone, Davis should win the job.  But it’s not only that, Davis brings an unparalleled energy toward this roster from the likes of which is unique.

Lest we not forget that this guy is a decent pitcher as well.  Remember when A.J. Hinch used him in relief a few times late in the season when we didn’t want to overuse and already-taxed bullpen?  He performed admirably, he threw for strikes and was regular topping in the mid-90s on the gun.  That’s remarkable and if I’m Hinch, this guy has my vote.

Yes, the 6’3,” 235-pound phenom is listed as a third baseman but he’s already proven that he could play any position in the infield.  And quite frankly, I just trust him more manning the bag at first than White.  It’s Gurriel’s spot but I honestly feel Davis still has value for him to keep his roster spot even when Yuli returns from injury.

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So that’s my stand, are the Houston Astros in good hands?  Absolutely.  And with my puns aside, Davis absolutely deserves to be in the trenches come Opening Day as this 24-year-old kid has earned it.

Good luck to you man — go Astros!