This time last year, Mets left fielder J.D. Davis was with the Astros, blocked at third base by Alex Bregman and going through a season where he was being yanked back and forth from the minors to the majors.
Now, the 26-year-old Davis is hitting .303/.366/.520 with 18 homers (including jacks in three straight games) and 16 doubles in 116 games for the Mets this season while cementing himself as a key piece of their future.
So, how has the journey been?
"A little bit of a rollercoaster," Davis told SNY's Joe Kraus during a recent sitdown in the Mets' dugout. "There was a lot of points (with Houston) where it crawled into my head where it's 'I'm blocked. There's nowhere to go.' I could have gotten prety pissed off and bitter and turned the corner and not necessarily gave up, but just like, stopped really caring. And I remember my dad telling me life is all about choices. I didn't want to go out like that."
While blocked by Bregman in Houston, Davis kept raking in Triple-A in 2018 -- slashing .342/.406/.583 with 17 homers in 85 games in the hitter-friendly PCL. But he struggled in the majors, hitting just .175/.248/.223 in 113 plate appearances.
It was after the 2018 season that new Mets front office hire Adam Guttridge brought Davis to the attention of GM Brodie Van Wagenen, and the Mets pounced by trading for Davis -- an undervalued asset who was lost in the shuffle amidst the absurd amount of talent Houston had compiled.
Davis was very good during five minor league seasons as he belted 105 homers, but he never really caught on as a big-time prospect. And he knew that his opportunity would probably have to come outside Houston.
"I could make my debut with Houston, but my future wasn't going to be with Houston," Davis explained to SNY. "And that old adage, where everyone says you're playing for another team, you're playing for 29 other teams. Just go out there and have fun. ... I didn't let it effect me or effect my personality or the person I am in the clubhouse or the way I played. ... And then the Mets ended up trading for me."
In the trade that brought Davis to New York, the Mets sent three prospects (OF Ross Adolph, INF Luis Santana, and C Scott Manea) to Houston. None of them were Top 100 talents when traded, nor are they viewed as potential Top 100 talents in the near future.
And Davis was pumped when he found out it was the Mets who had traded for him.
"I was excited, man, I was pumped," he said. "I always wanted to play in New York."
While playing in New York, especially recently, Davis has let his big personality shine through -- including giving a jubilant on-field interview after delivering a huge walkoff hit against the Indians last week.
Davis was one of the main reasons why the Mets surged from being dead in the water earlier this season to a legitimate playoff contender. And if they are to pull off a second miracle in the same season, they'll likely need him to keep it going.
But no matter what happens for the remainder of the 2019 season, it seems that the Mets have found a keeper with Davis, who is under team control through the 2024 season.
"It's been fun," Davis said. "I try to make it more about the team, and more about the guys, and try to have fun. We're great communicators, we help each other out. I'd say it's a dream come true. It's been fun here in New York."