AUSTIN DAVIS, LEFT HANDED PITCHER
|Born: February 3, 1993
Drafted: 12th Round, 352nd Overall, 2014 (Phillies)
How Acquired: Trade (from Phillies)
College: California State University Bakersfield
WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE
|Davis is a tall lefty whom the Phillies drafted out of college. Baseball America rated him 282nd among draft prospects, but he never made a top prospects list coming up through the minors. He started some games early in his career, but moved strictly to relief in 2016. Davis throws 93-94 mph, with a slider and change, although the slider hasn’t been an effective pitch. He’s not a ground ball or fly ball pitcher. In the majors he’s had a reverse platoon split, as left-handed hitters have ripped him for a 330/408/582 line. He hasn’t done well against right-handed hitters, either. The Pirates traded for him after the Phillies designated him for assignment.
Davis had a solid debut, mostly in relief. Of course, he was a college draftee pitching in rookie ball.
The Phillies moved Davis up to low A, where he made 11 starts and 22 relief appearances. He got fairly good results, with some control issues. He held left-handed batters to a .559 OPS.
Davis missed over half the season with an injury. He started pitching in late June and made his way up to high A. He pitched in relief apart from one start and posted high K rates.
Davis opened the season at high A and dominated. The Phillies moved him up to AA in May and he did reasonably well there. He didn’t have a platoon split.
Davis opened the season in AAA. He pitched well there, but for some reason the Phillies sent him to AA for a couple weeks in May. He moved back up to AAA in June and, at mid-month, the Phillies called him up to the majors, where he spent most of the rest of the season. Davis pitched respectably for the Phillies, with high K rates throughout.
Davis spent the season shuttling back and forth between AAA and the majors. He was much more effective in the minors, partly due to significant control problems. He also had major gopher ball problems with the Phillies, giving up a home run every three and a half innings.
The Phillies kept Davis in the majors at the start of the truncated season. He made four appearances and had an extremely rough time over three innings. The Phillies designated him for assignment and traded him to the Pirates for cash and a PTBNL, which turned out to be Joel Cesar. Davis got into five games with the Pirates and did much better. He greatly increased the use of his curve, although it’s hard to say whether that really helped given the tiny sample size.
For years, the Pirates have been running a tryout camp for relievers, acquiring other teams’ rejects wherever possible, as long as they’re cheap. The strategy was a failure under Neal Huntington, but has shown some signs of working better under Ben Cherington. Like virtually all the other relievers they’ve acquired, Davis isn’t young and has had a rough time so far in the majors. He was expected to compete for a roster spot in spring training, but went on the 60-day injured list with a left elbow sprain. He has an option left.
|2021: Major league minimum|
|Signing Bonus: N/A
MiLB Debut: 2014
MLB Debut: 6/20/2018
MiLB FA Eligible: N/A
MLB FA Eligible: 2026
Rule 5 Eligible: N/A
Added to 40-Man: 6/18/2018
Options Remaining: 1 (USED: 2019, 2020)
MLB Service Time: 1.098
|June 7, 2014: Drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 12th round, 352nd overall pick; signed on June 19.
June 18, 2018: Contract purchased by the Philadelphia Phillies.
August 21, 2020: Designated for assignment by the Philadelphia Phillies.
August 26, 2020: Traded by the Philadelphia Phillies to the Pittsburgh Pirates for cash and Joel Cesar.