Name: Chris Davis
DOB: March 17, 1986
Coming out of high school, Longview, Texas, native Chris Davis was likened to former University of Texas legend and fellow two-way star Brooks Kieschnick. Both have fastballs that reach the low-90's to go along with outstanding power from the left side of the plate.
Davis followed in Kieschnick's footsteps, as he attended the University of Texas on a baseball scholarship. However, the slugger transferred to Navarro Junior College without ever playing a game with the Longhorns.
The native Texan excelled in his two years at Navarro, as he hit .370 with 16 home runs and 70 RBI in his sophomore campaign. The performance led to the Rangers selecting Davis in the fifth round of the 2006 draft. The club was able to sign Davis, who had committed to play at the University of Arkansas, for a bonus of $172,500.
Though the 20-year-old was technically young for the Short-Season Northwest League, Davis had little trouble mastering it. Splitting his time between left field and first base, Davis hit .277 with 18 doubles, 15 home runs, and 42 RBI in 69 games. The outfielder/first baseman finished near the top of the Northwest League in multiple offensive categories.
Batting and Power: Davis' plus power is his premier tool, as he is already one of the best pure power hitters in the Rangers organization. Davis, who was incredibly streaky with Short-Season Spokane in 2006, saw his home runs come in bunches. The slugger hit 13 of his home runs in a period of 30 days. The left-handed hitter also showed the ability to mash left-handed pitching, hitting .328 in 61 at-bats against lefties.
Base Running and Speed: Not his strong suit, Davis' sub-par speed is one of the reasons that he may end up at first base instead of left in the long term. He stole two bases in five attempts with Spokane last summer.
Defense: In addition to pitching in college, Davis also played quite a bit of third base. However, he did neither in his debut in the Rangers organization. Davis split time in left field and first base with Spokane, but he will more than likely become a full-time first baseman in the future.
Projection: Even though his days as a two-way star are probably over, Davis already rates as one of the better power prospects in the organization. He has the ability to hit 30 home runs for a Major League club, but it is far too soon to predict whether or not he will realize that potential. While power will never be a problem, Davis must work to keep the batting average up while cutting down on the strikeouts.
2007 Outlook: Single-A Clinton should be the 2007 destination for the 20-year-old. Davis' power will be a welcome asset to the LumberKings, who were one of the worst offensive teams in all of Minor League baseball just one season ago.