ROOKIE DAVIS, RIGHT HANDED PITCHER
|Born: April 29, 1993
Drafted: 14th Round, 449th overall pick, 2011 (Yankees)
How Acquired: Minor League Free Agent
High School: Dixon HS (Holly Ridge, NC)
Agent: Full Circle Sports Management
WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE
|Davis is a big guy who was a power-hitting first baseman as well as a pitcher in high school. The Yankees drafted him with the idea that he’d be a workhorse starter and he’s been used almost always in that role in his career. He throws the standard four pitches, with a fastball that sits at 92-93 mph. He’s generally had very good control, but he’s been too hittable at the upper levels. He’s not a groundball pitcher, but he hasn’t usually had gopher ball problems, except in 2017. Davis went to the Reds in the Aroldis Chapman trade and struggled in his major league debut in 2017. His 2018 season was largely wiped out by a hip injury suffered at the end of the previous year. Cincinnati outrighted him after the 2018 season and he became a free agent. The Pirates signed him to a minor league deal for 2019.
Davis signed too late to play in 2011, then got into only brief action in 2012. He put up good numbers, particularly his walk and K rates.
In 11 starts in the New York-Penn League, Davis got hit a little harder, with opponents batting .267 against him, but he still had good walk and K rates. He threw ten shutout innings in two starts in full season ball at the end of the season.
The Yankees sent Davis back to low A for the season and he got hit around some. Opponents batted .271, but he generally kept the ball in the park, allowing a HR every 18 innings.
In the pitcher-friendly Florida State League, Davis put up better numbers, with excellent walk and K rates. He had more trouble in a late-season stint in AA. Baseball America rated him the Yankees’ 15th best prospect after the season and New York added him to the 40-man roster. Shortly before New Year, the Yankees traded him to Cincinnati for Aroldis Chapman, a deal that turned into a bust for the Reds.
With the Reds, Davis put up a very good ERA in AA, but his K rate dropped sharply. He got hammered in five late-season appearances in AAA, with opponents batting .355. In fact, the Reds sent him back to AA for his final start.
Davis opened the season in the Reds’ rotation, although he missed two weeks in April with a bruised forearm. He made five starts; apart from five shutout innings against a struggling Pirates’ offense, he had a very rough time. The Reds sent him to AAA in May, but after two starts he missed a month with another injury. He eventually made his way back to AAA, where he didn’t pitch especially well, including a HR every six innings. Davis made two September appearances for the Reds before his season ended a week early with a hip injury that required surgery.
Davis didn’t return from the hip surgery until July. He worked his way up to AA, but the Reds outrighted him at the end of August. He signed a minor league deal with the Pirates after the season.
The Pirates sent Davis to AAA to open the season and he pitched mostly as a starter. He pitched pitched poorly over the season’s first seven weeks. In late May, though, the Pirates called him up out of sheer desperation. He got into five games in May and June, including one start, and continued to pitch poorly. He went on the injured list in early June due to a blister, then shortly after returning to rehab he went back on the injured list with a forearm strain. He was activated and optioned to AAA in mid-August, and continued to pitch poorly. On September 1, the Pirates designated Davis for assignment and outrighted him to AAA to free up a 40-man roster spot.
Davis simply isn’t a good pitcher; his career ERA in AAA is 5.58. Hopefully, he’ll move on after the season.
2019: Major league minimum
|Signing Bonus: $550,000
MiLB Debut: 2012
MLB Debut: 4/6/2017
MiLB FA Eligible: 2019
MLB FA Eligible: 2024
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: 11/20/15 (since removed)
Options Remaining: 1 (USED: 2016, 2017)
MLB Service Time: 1.045
|June 8, 2011: Drafted by the New York Yankees in the 14th round, 449th overall pick; signed on August 15.
November 20, 2015: Contract purchased by the New York Yankees.
December 28, 2015: Traded by the New York Yankees with Eric Jagielo, Tony Renda and Caleb Cotham to the Cincinnati Reds for Aroldis Chapman.
August 27, 2017: Outrighted to AAA by the Cincinnati Reds.
November 2, 2017: Became a free agent.
February 18, 2019: Signed as a minor league free agent by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
May 25, 2019: Called up by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
September 1, 2019: Designated for assignment and outrighted to AAA by the Pittsburgh Pirates.