Davis’ first professional season was a constant struggle that saw the left-handed hitting Davis hit just.176/.252/.206, without a homer. As a late-round draft pick, Davis’ professional career could have ended in a single miserable summer in Eugene. In 2014, Davis repeated the Northwest League, and was arguably the best player in the league. Davis hit a robust .322/.411/.537, with seven homers and 31 RBI.
Davis’ massive season in 2014 allowed him to skip Fort Wayne and move straight to Lake Elsinore. Davis shook off a slow start, and hit .315/.394/.472, with three home runs in June. Davis has scuffled a bit in July, and for the season, Davis is hitting .250/.299/.366 with six homers and 42 RBI in a team-leading 87 games. Davis spoke to MadFriars before a recent Storm game.
During the first two months of the season, you weren’t walking a whole lot, but in June you seemed to refine your approach. What adjustments did you make?
Marcus Davis: I just really tried to refine my approach. In the first part of the season, I felt like I tried to do too much. I reminded myself to stay within myself and stay focused on each at-bat. As the season has gone, I’ve just tried to slow everything down and relax.
Your numbers have been far superior on the road. We all know that the Diamond is not the most forgiving place for a left-handed hitter. Do you alter your approach depending on the ballpark, or do you just take the same approach, regardless of the park?
Marcus Davis: Nah, I just keep a general approach when I go into an at-bat. I try not to let the 30ft wall in right bother me too much. I know what works for me and if I can execute my gameplan, I will be successful in any ballpark. I just try to hit the ball where it is pitched.
What is the biggest difference between the caliber of pitching you saw in the Northwest League vs. what you currently are facing in the California League?
Marcus Davis: The pitchers in the California League have a better idea of what they are doing. They can hit spots better and are generally more polished. It also seemed like pitchers in the California League are a little more relaxed. I know as a hitter in the Northwest League, it can be really hard because you may not get regular playing time because of the bigger rosters. It seems like guys in the California League can make adjustments quicker because they are getting more reps.
Aside from recently missing some time with a back issue, you have been able to stay healthy when many of your teammates have had injury issues. What do you do to stay on the field?
Marcus Davis: I just give credit to my off-season work. I try and build strength, in addition to stretching and keeping my muscles loose. I work hard in the off-season to ensure I can play as many games as possible during the year.
Xavier Nady has been the hitting coach with the Storm for a month now. What has he brought to the clubhouse?
Marcus Davis: Xavier is definitely a high-energy guy. He is always willing to work and do extra reps with guys. He has been super enthusiastic and a lot of fun to be around. He’s definitely a guy that I enjoy working with.
In Eugene, you played a bit in the outfield, but all your starts in Lake Elsinore have been at first or at DH. Do you feel like you need to play the outfield to make yourself more valuable to the organization?
Marcus Davis:Nah. I just have to go out there and play where the ask me (laughs). I don’t really have any say, nor have I mentioned anything. I just do what is asked of me.