Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 6/14/13
Chris Davis watches his homerun jet out of Camden Yards (photo credit: Mark Goldman/Icon SMI) The man they call “Crush” is at it again. This time, Chris Davis ended the game not with homerun smashed onto Eutaw Street, but a bloop single the opposite way that was just out of reach of both Red Sox SS Stephen Drew and LF Jonny Gomes that allowed Nick Markakis to score and gave the Baltimore Orioles a 5-4 win over Boston in the 13th inning. Most baseball fans have only begun to to take notice of Davis this season due to his huge power numbers, but he has always possessed immense talent. Watching him put everything together has truly been a treat. To get the full perspective on Davis and his journey to the top of the baseball world, it’s necessary to start at the beginning. The Draft Process Davis was originally drafted by the New York Yankees with the antepenultimate pick in the 2004 MLB draft out of Longview High School in Texas, where he played shortstop. He ultimately chose not to sign with the Yankees, and instead enrolled at Navarro Junior College in Corsicana, Texas. Davis hit .370 with 16 homeruns and 71 RBI in 50 games at Navarro over two years. After his first year, Davis was taken by the Angels, but he again elected not to sign. He did end up signing with the third team who drafted him, the Texas Rangers, when they took him in the fifth round in 2006. The left-handed slugger would transition from SS to 1B in the Ranger’s system. The Rangers organization Davis quickly made his ascent through the Rangers’ minor league system, hitting .277 with 15 homeruns in 69 games for the Spokane Indians after signing in 2006. In 2007, Davis mashed throughout the year hitting .296 with 36 HRs and 118 RBI in 129 games combined between their A and AA teams. 2008 was a huge year for Davis, as he rose through their AA and AA teams easily and broke through to the big leagues just over 2 years after the Rangers drafted him. He officially made his debut on June 26th against Houston, when he went 1/1 as a pinch hitter in a 7-2 Rangers loss. Davis stuck around the majors for quite a while, and finding mild success. In 80 games at the big league level, he hit a respectable .285 with 17 HRs and 55 RBI, good enough to become the Rangers opening day starter at 1B in 2009. But something happened to Davis at the plate in 2009 that he had never experienced for long stretches at a time: failure. He saw his batting average fall to .238 despite still hitting 21 homeruns, and struck out 150 times in 419 appearances, which is about 36% of the time. He also only walked 24 times. He was chasing pitches and trying to pull everything instead of going with the ball and hitting it to left field. He has the same problems in 2010, and hit a paltry .192 before getting sent down to the minors to work out his issues. Even though he tore up AAA pitching after his demotion, the Rangers decided to give time at 1B to Mitch Moreland instead, as they saw Davis as simply a “Quadruple-A” player who they could afford to get rid of. Getting a chance in Baltimore In 2011, the Rangers traded Davis and then-SP Tommy Hunter to Baltimore for RP Koji Uehara (who lasted a year and a half in Texas before the Rangers failed to resign him. Ouch.) He played sparingly down the stretch in 2011, but got his chance in 2012, playing in a platoon at 1B with Mark Reynolds. Davis hit .270 with 33 HRs and 85 RBI, with 7 of those homers coming in the final 7 games of the season. Around that time, something just clicked. He gives a lot of credit to O’s hitting coach Jim Presley for having him hit off a tee instead of live pitching during practice, as it taught him to have a more consistent swing and how to hit to all fields. That late 2012 success has carried over thus far in 2013, as Davis finds himself currently hitting an astounding .338 with a league-leading 21 round-trippers and 56 RBI, second in the AL to only Miguel Cabrera (as he is in batting average). Whether it’s all thanks to hitting off of a tee or, as skipper Buck Showalter says, it’s just talent growing into itself, Crush Davis has become one of the league’s most feared batters and a legitimate MVP candidate, as he has carried the O’s to a 38-29 record and to the top of the Wild Card standings (and only 2.5 games behind Boston in the AL East). He has endeared himself to the Baltimore fans and media alike, as he comes off as very humble and polite even in the midst of a monstrous season such as this one. Whether or not the gentle giant can keep up his torrid pace remains to be seen. But in the meantime, O’s fans, sit back, relax, and watch the most exciting hitter Baltimore has had in years do his thing.    

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Draymond Green files trademark paperwork for ‘Dray Day’

Aaron Judge gets special fan section at Yankee Stadium

New lawsuit alleges NFL knew about CTE for decades

Magic reportedly hire Raptors GM Jeff Weltman as new president

62-year-old Greg Norman’s workout video shows he’s still jacked

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Celtics celebrated Game 3 win by Facetiming with Isaiah Thomas

Stephen Curry still hobbled by ‘dirty play’ of Dewayne Dedmon

Aaron Donald not at Rams' voluntary OTAs, reportedly over contract

Enes Kanter wants to become American citizen

Report: O.J. Simpson's parole hearing set for July

Baseball may soon enter an era of two-way players

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

Getaway Day: League leaders falter allowing new teams to surge ahead

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Best of Yardbarker: Gregg Popovich doesn't mince words

The 'Happy birthday to two of the NBA's all-time antagonists' quiz

The shortstop evolution continues to raise the ceiling

Three Up, Three Down: Astros dominate in every category

Box Score 5/19: Heartbreak in OT

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

Getaway Day: League leaders falter allowing new teams to surge ahead

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Best of Yardbarker: Gregg Popovich doesn't mince words

The 'Happy birthday to two of the NBA's all-time antagonists' quiz

The shortstop evolution continues to raise the ceiling

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker