A Healthy Davis Terrorizes Carolina League

For Leonard Davis, just being good isn't good enough. The Nationals third base prospect is coming into his own and figures to start getting a lot more attention when fans talk about young prospects coming through the system.

After having the start of his season delayed because of a bad wrist, third base prospect Leonard Davis has made up for the missed time. After enduring an 8-for-48 (.167) slump that knocked his average from .333 down to .255, Davis has picked up the pace and now seems to have a firm grip on what he's doing at the plate. The 24 year old recently put together two hot stretches - a 17-for-34 streak and a 13-27 run - that pushed his season average to .342 at Potomac.

Davis was recently honored with the Carolina League's Offensive Player of the Week honor for hitting .526 (10-for-19) in a one-week span. Power-wise, he's launched 13 home runs on the season. Davis .342 average has him second in the Carolina League in average and he ranks second in home runs (13), fourth in on-base percentage (.417) and he leads the league in slugging percentage (.624).

One thing that Davis will have to learn at the plate is how to battle left-handers more effectively. The left-handed hitter struggles somewhat against lefties (.258 in 31 AB this season) and feasts on righties (.357 in 171 AB) and also has a much higher strikeout rate against left-handers (once every 4.9 AB against right-handers vs. once every 3.9 AB against left-handers). Overall, Davis has good plate discipline and will put the bat on the ball and there is hope that as he moves along, he'll pick up the pace somewhat against southpaws, but won't likely be able to put himself anywhere near what he'll be able to do against righties.

In Davis, the Nationals have a legitimate prospect, but will need to hone his defensive skills or find another spot for him to play if he's going to have as bright of a future as his offense would indicate. He's made 13 errors at third base this season and has found himself in the outfield in three different games, playing in both center and right field. Originally, Davis came to the Nationals as a second baseman, but didn't profile well there and was moved to third and has found most of his playing time there.

So, what does the future hold for Leonard Davis? Since he split last season between Hagerstown and Potomac, a move to Double-A Harrisburg at some point during the season isn't out of the question at all.

Leonard Davis' Career Stats

YEAR/TEAM HR RBI AVG G AB R H 2B 3B SB BB KO OBP SLG
2004 GCL Expos 3 14 .182 42 143 18 26 6 1 2 19 58 .295 .301
2005 Vermont 7 35 .300 67 237 34 71 8 8 8 12 64 .348 .489
2006 Savannah 8 38 .225 83 .289 32 65 12 4 4 21 87 .284 .377
2007 Hagerstown 16 56 .290 96 348 47 101 29 4 7 25 86 .344 .534
2007 Potomac 4 10 .262 23 84 8 22 4 0 0 1 22 .267 .452
2008 Potomac 13 35 .342 59 202 46 69 14 2 7 23 43 .417 .624
TOTALS 51 188 .272 370 1303 185 354 73 19 28 101 360 .333 .474

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