Keeping up with the Houston Astros Prospects: J.D. Davis

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The Interview

CTH: With the draft going on now, recap your experience as a draft prospect in the 2014 draft.

Davis: The excitement and anticipation of the draft can not be ignored or just set aside.  I learned from 2011; the draft can go in any direction. Therefore, I tried to keep an even keel and put a lid on my emotions. On the second day, the Astros with the first pick selected me in the third round. I was so happy and felt so blessed to hear my name. It was a great moment in my life, and I was happy I could share it with my family and friends back in my hometown in Elk Grove, CA.

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CTH: What did you do in your first professional offseason?

Davis: During my first professional offseason, my original plan was to take a week or two off from any physical labor. However, after the third day of being a rock on the couch, my mind couldn’t take it anymore. I started going to the gym every day, sometimes 2-3 times a day until December. I started swinging and taking ground balls early January while cutting back on the gym. I ended up entering Spring Training at 231 pounds. During the offseason, I cut down my body fat 4% and put on at least ten pounds of lean muscle.

CTH: Drafted in 2011 by the Tampa Bay Rays, what made you decide to go to college instead of signing with the Rays?

Davis: I was drafted in the 5th round, 180th overall out of high school. I did not sign with the Rays because we could not meet any financial terms to steer me away from going to college.

CTH: I know you moved from first base to third base, how is that transition going?

Davis: I played third base in high school and during summer ball over the course of my three years at CSUF. However, there was much I needed to learn. Not as much physically but mentally. Working with my instructors and coaches, I have made great strides in improving my footwork and ability at third base.

CTH: Who was your biggest influence on learning how to play baseball?

Davis: The biggest influence on learning how to play baseball would mainly consist of 3 people: my father, my high school coach, Jeff Carlson, and my head coach from Cal State Fullerton, Rick Vanderhook.

CTH: Last year you had 7 stolen bases and hit 13 home runs, which one best represents your overall game?

Davis: I would go with the 13 home runs. Hitting for average and power are my biggest tools. However, even though I’m not the fastest runner, I am a smart base runner. I know my speed and limitations to when to steal and when not to steal.

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CTH: Which player current or retired, do you model your game after?

Davis: Like many other players, I have always wanted to carry myself on and off the field like Derek Jeter. However, I try and model my game after David Wright and Scott Rolen.

CTH: Which pitcher do you remember facing who you said, wow, this guy has great stuff?

Davis: I would have to go with Jeff Hoffman from ECU, first rounder to the Blue Jays in 2014. I faced him in the Cape Cod League in the summer of 2013. I remember that not only were his pitches electric, but he had above-average command of all of them.

CTH: What part of your game do you need to work on before you are ML ready? 

Davis: This game is hard enough as it is, so there is always room to improve every aspect of one’s game. But if I had to single out one specific area, given with the position change, I’d say getting more reps at third is something I’ve been focusing on more. Are you aware of the weakness at third base in the Astros system? Does this offer you any advantages in your eyes of reaching MLB sooner?

CTH: Are you aware of the weakness at third base in the Astros system? Does this offer you any advantages in your eyes of reaching MLB sooner?

Davis: I don’t think third base is a weakness at all. We have an abundant amount of talent and solid players at third throughout the system. I am well aware of the talent that is in front of me. So, the best thing I can do is to keep my head down and keep working hard.

Thanks to J.D. Davis for taking the time to answer some of my questions, you can follow Davis on Twitter at @JDDavis26. Hopefully soon he will be promoted to AA, and could be with the Astros at some point in the 2016 season if needed.

Next: Astros Top Eight Prospects after the First 2 Rounds of 2015 Draft

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