Padres Prospect Interview: Bo Davis

Peoria, AZ: San Diego Padres prospect Bo Davis may not have played long in 2009 during his debut season, but what he showed was enough to get a starting gig for the Fort Wayne TinCaps this year.

During one game this spring, you slid into third base, going headfirst. The injury occurred sliding headfirst into second while you were in Eugene - that is when the thumb injury happened, correct?

Bo Davis: Yes.

No hesitations?

Bo Davis: No, that was an easier slide. It wasn't quite like stealing a base. So, not quite as stressful going into third there.

Talk a little bit about that injury and what happened in the recovery process for you?

Bo Davis: You know, I slid headfirst into second base. I broke the two middle bones in my hand. I got some screws in there. Came down here for rehab and everything went well. I couldn't quite get back in time to go back and play somewhere before the end of the season. So, about the time the off season started, I was good to go. So, it really wasn't that bad on me. I just worked out and everything is fine now.

What was the frustration level for you though, especially as you were having a successful start to your career and then the injury hits?

Bo Davis: Yes, that's unfortunate. That's baseball. You know that happens all the time. You see guys go down, but you just have to deal with it the best you can and come back big.

Would you consider yourself a sparkplug? I mean, you're the leadoff hitter, so it's your job to get on and well, a job you did pretty well at in Eugene?

Bo Davis: Yes, that's really my role. I've been told that ever since I was in college, get on, and use my legs as an advantage. I feel like I really don't have that much power, usually. I try and put the ball in play. Keep it on the ground as much as I can and get on base for those guys behind me, the big boppers to drive me in.

You have this wide base when you hit. Have there been any changes to that? Maybe getting a little bit closer to get a little bit more power?

Bo Davis: Yes, they've talked to me about that a little bit. They want to take it slow with me. There's other stuff they're working on – like my hands. They want me to take one thing at a time, but yes, there has been a couple of guys talk to me about that. They say they want to slowly do that over the season, maybe close me in just a little bit.

Well, it's ironic that you still hit it to a deepest part of the park? Where does the power come from? It doesn't look like you're using the legs really at all very well.

Bo Davis: Yes, they say they want me to use my legs, and I think I still do a little bit. But, I think I could definitely do it more. I think they're right when they tell me to use them a little more. I've got really long arms so that helps me out I think sometimes if I get extended on balls. If I do have power, I think that's where it comes from.

What changes are you making with your hands then?

Bo Davis: I've never really had much of a load. My hands kind of stayed still. They don't want me hitting from a dead still. You can't have much power. You'll just slap the ball around like that. So, they tell me that if I get a little bit of a load, it will help me with power and just a little momentum, a little movement up there. I agree. They've been working with me so far. It's been going good.

The basic premise is that you have that wide stance because maybe you struggled with the inside pitch at some point? Now, does it seem like with that stance, it's harder to get to those outside pitches?

Bo Davis: Well, I try to look that way more. In college, they threw out there a lot more. So, that's where it actually all started. In college, I was hitting inside pitch well. So, I did that to try to keep myself on those outside pitches where I wouldn't pull off. Now, they're throwing me more in and moving it around, so I have had to change a couple of things. Maybe not be so closed off as I have been in the past.

Talk a little bit about the bunting and the progressions you made in that area. Do you really feel like that's an area you need to improve in as well?

Bo Davis: Yes, that's being a table setter. In college, I didn't have to do it as much. I moved around. I was a leadoff man in the three-hole. Now, not a power guy. So, that's even more important to me. I did it a lot in college, but I wouldn't say I did it right. I had some success in college, but I didn't do it right and I've learned a lot of things so far. Jonesy (roving instructor Gary Jones) really helped me out with deadening balls, working on drags. I've never been able to drag, and he helped me out a lot with that. We've been working on that. We work on it all the time. So, hopefully, I haven't been able to do it in a game yet, but I plan on using it.

The coaches last year said that you are a run through the wall type of player. What does that mean to you when you hear something like that?

Bo Davis: That's what I want to hear. I just want to play as hard as I can every single play. You know, try to make up for deficiencies in other parts of my game. You can hustle every day, so that's all I try to do.

Now, I think you were 12-for-3 in base running last year. What kind of improvements can you make and have you made?

Bo Davis: You can always get better. You know, just trying to read pitchers. Every pitcher is different. As you move up, they're going to get better at holding runners. They're going to get quicker to the plate. So you have to stay on your game always. You have to pick up little things that pitchers do. You know, you get better jumps. Every inch counts.

I think you had the same amount of walks and strikeouts last year. How important is that pitch selection for you?

Bo Davis: Big for me. Whenever I'm seeing pitches, I'm hitting better, plus I'm on base more, walking. So, those guys behind me can drive runs in. So, it's huge for me. You know, just to get that walk number up there, so I can be on base.

We know all your teammates are awesome. If you had one hitter who could hit behind you to protect you, and you're batting leadoff, who would the hitter be and why?

Bo Davis: So far, it would be Vince Belnome. That's who I hit in front of in Eugene. I love hitting in front of him. He's an extremely smart hitter. He takes pitches he sees and allows me to get a good jump. He takes and he's left-handed. They pitch around him a lot. So, he's getting off-speed early. He knows I'm going to run. We were really on the same page a lot last year as soon as we got started. I didn't get to play with him that much, but you saw, he went on and did well everywhere he played. He's probably the guy I'd pick now. I don't know that many other people.

Fair enough. Now, give me one pitcher who you're glad he's a teammate, so, you don't have to face him!

Bo Davis: Ooh! Nick Greenwood. Playing behind him, he's a competitor out there on the mound. You know, he's always battling, trying to make plays, make pitches. He loves it. He's just a competitor. He's got good stuff. He's always ready to compete no matter what. So, I'd have to pick him from Eugene.

What are your 2010 goals? What are the expectations for you this year?

Bo Davis: Man…you know, get better, every aspect. Steal bases. Just hope the guy behind me drives in runs. I just hope I can get on base for those guys. That's really all I can do. Have a winning season with whatever team I'm playing with.

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