Originally posted on Baseball Professor  |  Last updated 10/3/13
HistoryMatt Davidson was a first round pick of the Diamondbacks out of H.S. back in 2009, so you know the raw tools are present; this also indicates the D-Backs have a significant investment in him. He has been at the back end of most Top 100 prospects lists since about 2011 while never really cracking higher than 80 on any. Though he got service time in August and September of the 2013 season, he will retain his rookie eligibility for 2014. Davidson will be 23 or the start of 2014.ToolsDavidson is a hitter, there is no question about it. His bat looks ready for a full time MLB job. In the minors, he has never posted a full season OPS below .814. There are some questions about his defense, but with Paul Goldschmidt locked in at 1B, the D-Backs have been playing him full time at 3rd, and he should be able to play at least passable defense at the hot corner. Again, Davidson is know for his bat, and that’s what fantasy owners care about. Davidson has good power, but its definitely not 40 homer stuff or anything crazy like that. I question his ability to make contact right out of the gate as a rookie, but I’m not terribly concerned that he never will make the adjustment because of his good walk rate. He has a mild to decent strikeout issue, which should bog down the batting average, especially as he learns to hit MLB pitching. He has virtually no stolen base potential.Davidson has been a Top 100 prospect, though barely, for several seasons.2014 OutlookDavidson was featured as mostly a pinch hitter in 2013 during his brief stint in the show. This will change in 2014. He is one of those guys who will be playing full time, whether its in the majors or in AAA is the big question. The entire infield of the D-Backs is set to return in 2014, leaving only 1 real potential avenue for playing time for Davidson. A.J. Pollock was “meh” at best playing CF in 2013. Martin Prado has plenty of experience in LF from his time with the Braves. This could mean Adam Eaton slides over from LF to CF, Prado moves from 3B to LF, and Davidson gets the 3B job. Prado’s versatility benefits Davidson a lot, as a injury to Aaron Hill also will likely slide Prado to 2B and give Davidson the keys to 3B. As for 2014 numbers, expect a low, but not Mark Reynolds batting average. I could see him sit around .245 all the way up to .260 depending on how well he adjusts. Remember he plays in Arizona, a small park, so given 550 AB’s he could surpass 25 homers with potential for more if he gets a little lucky in the HR/FB department, and Arizona’s hitters have in the past. Arizona has a decent lineup, so 80RBI’s are a likely if he gets the job out of spring and holds it all year, which I think is a real possibility.FutureMatt Davidson looks like the real deal, and I believe he can put up 25ish homers for the foreseeable future. If he makes the necessary adjustments to cuts the strikeouts a bit I have no problem pegging him for a few .280+ seasons, although that is definitely not happening next season. A .270 25 homer 3B with potential for more is a great fantasy asset, especially while he plays in the desert. I hate predicting Runs and RBI’s because that is totally dependent on the team around him and I don’t have a properly calibrated crystal ball just yet. 
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