Khris Davis LF
Profile: Davis was drafted originally by the Washington Nationals in the 29th round of the 2006 draft. He instead chose to attend Cal State-Fullerton where he excelled for three seasons with the Titans. Davis finished his senior season with a .328 average, racking up 16 home runs and 58 RBI before being selected in the seventh round of the 2009 draft by Milwaukee.
After signing, Davis saw action in just 11 games between the Arizona Brewers and Helena in 2009. He spent the 2010 season with the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers where he hit .280 with 22 homers and 72 RBI.
In 2011 Davis belted 15 home runs in just 90 games at Brevard County before earning a promotion to AA Huntsville where he finished out the season. Davis battled a strained calf muscle early on in 2012, and lost some more time when he tried to return too soon and was re-injured. Once healthy, Davis caught fire and totaled 15 home runs in 82 games between a brief rehab assignment in Arizona and stints with Huntsville and AAA Nashville.
Davis was expected to return to Nashville to begin the 2013 season but a big spring in which he led the team in home runs (6) and RBI (16) made the Brewers staff take notice and Davis was awarded the final bench spot on the club’s Opening Day roster.
Strengths: Davis biggest strength is his power bat. He has hit for a decent average throughout his four-year minor league career, but his power numbers are what stand out the most. Davis has blasted a total of 56 career home runs, including 22 for Wisconsin in 2010, a Timber Rattlers record. That same year Davis won the Midwest League Home Run Derby during the league’s All-Star festivities. He belted 17 more in 2011 and went yard 15 times in an injury shortened 2013. Davis has also shortened up his swing from earlier in his career and become more selective at the plate, drawing more walks.
Weaknesses: Davis is only an average runner and doesn’t have the strongest throwing arm. Therefore he is likely limited to left field. Barring injury, his opportunities to play left field in Milwaukee will be few and far between with Ryan Braun manning that position at the Major League level
The Future: For now the Brewers will ask Davis to come off the bench as a pinch-hitter late in games. They have given him a handful of innings in right field this spring so he may spell Nori Aoki or Ryan Braun when a day off is needed. It will likely take either a position change or a trade for Davis to see any regular playing time in the Major Leagues, but he has hit and hit for power at every level, and there is no reason to think he won’t do so at the highest level. If he can handle getting one at bat a game, Davis could be a valuable bench bat for Milwaukee. If he struggles in that role he will probably return to Nashville to play every day until a position opens up for him.