Time to shine a light on Astros’ Triple-A affiliate Fresno Grizzlies infielder J.D. Davis.
When you start your season with the big league club and get sent down after playing in just nine games, it can be a disappointment. It would be entirely understandable if a player lost some focus in that scenario. Such has not been the case with J.D. Davis.
Davis made his major league debut last season and got in a few games this year. Since being sent back to Triple-A Fresno, he’s done nothing but rake. He’s been particularly hot of late, making him the subject of this week’s spotlight.
Davis was the Astros’ third-round draft pick in 2014 out of Cal State Fullerton. Between two Class-A stops that year, he hit .293/.371/.508 with 13 homers in 73 games. He spent all of 2015 at Class-A Advanced Lancaster, hitting .289/.370/.520 with 26 homers and 101 RBIs in 120 games.
He was with Double-A Corpus Christi for all of 2016, hitting .268/.334/.485 with 23 homers in 126 games. Davis started 2017 with Corpus, was promoted to Fresno, and eventually to the major leagues. In 103 minor league games that year, he hit .282/.345/.527 with 26 homers. In the majors, he hit .226/.279/.484 with four homers in 24 games.
After hitting .250 in nine major league games early in the 2018 season, he was sent back to Fresno, where he has caught fire. Through Wednesday, Davis hit .450/.500/.680 with three homers, 14 doubles and 28 RBIs in 25 games.
Davis is currently riding a 12-game hit streak and has driven in a run in nine of his last 10 games. One has to wonder how long he can keep this up, and how long the Astros can keep him in Triple-A.
Davis just turned 25 and is already making a case for him to be at least a backup infielder. In the event of an injury, trade or underperformance, Davis could be first in line. He could also succeed Marwin Gonzalez should Gonzalez leave in free agency after the season.
He does have a tendency to strike out, but he’s displayed good power and should get a shot at a more meaningful role at some point. Whether that comes this year or next remains to be seen, but Davis has made the organization and the fans take notice.
***Statistics courtesy of MiLB.com***