Offseason Prospect Overview: Brennen Davis

Brennen Davis

Brennen Davis (photo by Bill Mitchell)

Season Review

brennendavis

Overshadowed a bit by the hot start of fellow 2nd round prep outfielder Cole Roederer, Brennen Davis may not have entered pro ball quite as polished in his all-around game, but he was chosen higher and possesses the louder tools. But if you think he is only about potential and not production at this point, would it surprise you to learn that Davis finished with a better wRC+ and wOBA than Roederer during their AZL debuts?

Davis hit for a higher average, struck out less, and proved to be an on-base machine. What separates the narrative between the two players at this point is that Roederer put the ball in the air and over the fence, while Davis's swing was a bit disjointed and resulted in a ton of ground balls. So there is still work to be done in order to unlock his full potential, but it is impressive how much he managed to contribute considering his lack of experience.

Positives

Speed, arm strength, good hand-eye coordination, and developing patience and power at the plate. I've seen reports of plus-plus speed for Davis. He battled a hamstring injury this spring which may account for the varying grades (anywhere from 60-70) on his running ability. His arm rates as good enough for not just center but rightfield as well. As a hitter, Davis has already shown a knack for making contact and drawing walks. The power has yet to come but not because of shortage of raw strength. He needs to work on getting his upper and lower body more in sync during his swing as he continues to fill out his frame. Once that occurs, we could be looking at a future 20/20 player.

Negatives

Inexperience. Davis was a prep basketball star who helped lead his high school to an Arizona 6-A championship while earning the state's Defensive Player of the Year award as a junior. Davis concentrated on baseball his senior year but missed time with an injury. He simply hasn't had his attention fully devoted to baseball for that long.

Summation

A plus runner with potential plus power and defense in centerfield, Davis patterns his game off Lorenzo Cain, and draws some Adam Jones comps from scouts. He already showed an ability to translate some of his impressive tools in both the field and at the plate. If he can unlock even average power Davis has a chance to become an impact player patrolling centerfield.

2019 Outlook

With so many young outfielders competing for a job in South Bend, and the Cubs likely to continue making adjustments to Davis's swing, the expectation is Davis will remain behind in EXST as he waits for the Eugene season to begin. With a good couple of months there I wouldn't rule out a cup of coffee with South Bend at the end of the season. I would like to see some progress with getting the ball airborne more frequently and seeing it translate into at least extra-base production.

Comments

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  • He’s already put on some muscle & the swing looks better.

    Geez, if him & Roederer both fill out & hit their potential, that’s 2 solid starting OFers. Not to mention Hoerner & possibly Herron. You brought up Riley Thompson the other day. Also Weber & Franklin in that draft. That’s a pretty rich draft.

  • In reply to Milk Stout:

    Looks like Davis has put on at least 10 pounds of muscle, maybe close to 20 since last spring. Built more like a baseball player than a basketball player now.

    I really like the 2018 draft class and I have yet to see Davis, Roederer, Franklin, Americaan, and Allen. In addition those already mentioned D.J. Artis and Luke Reynolds also flashed a bit for Eugene. Both have advanced approaches at the plate, with Artis offering speed and Reynolds power to go with it. Ezequiel Pagan is another athletic CF, but is considered pretty raw out a Puerto Rico HS, and needs to mature physically. Ethan Roberts, Cam Sanders, Riley McCauley, Josh Sawyer, Niels Stone and Jake Reindl are some relief arms to keep an eye on as well.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Forgot about Reynolds. Somebody else listed him as 1 of their top breakouts/sleepers in the Cubs system. Thfey posted his spray chart as well. Hits to all fields. He considered him a solid middle of the order potential.

  • Didn't know where to post this, but the cubs claim to have fixed walkwood. They identified a mechanical issue with his arm jabbing towards 3b before he lets go of the ball that throws his whole delivery out of whack which caused the lack of control

  • In reply to bolla:

    I saw that on the athletic and I'll believe it when I see it lol although couldn't get much worse. My question is as the teams 7th starter essentially I just see him as wasting a roster spot out of the pen. I just don't trust the guys consistency I'd prefer him as a starter where he can at least overcome his wild innings that he tends to have at times.

  • In reply to bolla:

    Feel free to post stuff on whatever is the most recent article. I know I haven't had a lot of recent coverage of the big club, but I'll be winding down the prospect stuff over the next week or two and don't really have time to do both right now. We'll wind back up up on the MLB coverage as the spring games begin.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    On a related note, Addison Russell is currently speaking to media for the first time right now. I will not be covering it.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    He sounded very scripted, repeating his "talking points" numerous times. Maybe he just doesn't show much emotion, but he seemed distant to me. Could be nerves, it can't be easy to face what he did, but he sounded more to me like he's saying what he's supposed to say. He did say that he's in another relationship. Here's a link to the press conference - it's about 20 minutes. www.pscp.tv/w/1gqxvnnnjoAxB

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    I really hope he gets himself (or has gotten himself) to a better place where he can a decent boyfriend/husband for the future. If he can take unambiguous ownership of his past, and pledge to do better - personal growth is never a bad thing.

    I just don't know if I want that future to be with the Cubs.

  • In reply to bolla:

    He also was probably pressing last year to prove he was worth the contract. Would be nice to have the two large pickups last year (Darvish,Chatwood) pitch like they are capable of pitching.

  • In reply to bolla:

    This was on both the Cubs MLB site and as a piece in The Athletic. Tommy Hottovy said Chatwood knew about the issues last year but needed a "reset" (meaning offseason) to work through them. He worked out in the offseason at University of Redlands. They've been using the Edgertronic camera and Rapsodo devices to gather data on his mechanics. Hottovy said he isn't "fixed" yet, but that there was definitely progress. If Chatwood is usable in any form, it will be beneficial to the Cubs.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Yep, if Chatwood can get outs, he will get innings.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Here's hoping he gets both. Otherwise he's just a very expensive swingman/RP you give garbage inning to - or cut and eat the loss.

    If he can pull himself together and have a good year out of the gate - does he become potential trade-bait midseason?

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    I was thinking that it would certainly give the Cubs options at the trade deadline. If any of the current rotation falters, he could step in - but he might have more value in a trade for whatever the Cubs need mid-season. All depending on if he really CAN pull himself together..

  • Small sample, yes, but wow, that is a nice swing change.

  • I believe that Davis is Reggie Theus' son. Seems I read that somewhere.

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    Thanks again for all the more in-depth prospect looks, Michael! I did not realize Davis performed so well after the Cubs drafted him. Was pleasantly surprised to see at least average projected hit tool for him, giving him at least average or better tool grades across the board! Long way to go, but 2018 draft class looking verrry interesting in the early going...

  • I love this article and after this one it gives me hope to lose my depression of losing Jimenez. I see Cleve can't get close to what we gave up for Quintana. Timing. Btw I wish fans would give Russell a break he is a young man and needs to mature. He was punished for what he did and if was enough I haven't a clue.

  • In reply to rockyje:

    First thank you Michael for your hard work informing us of future hopefuls. First comment in quite some time. Read just about everyday. Rock, agree with giving Russell a second and final opportunity. I hope his actions were rooted in immaturity and not ingrained in his personality. Time will tell all which direction he will take. I for one hope for his own sake with maturity he will thrive upon doing the right thing.

  • In reply to Wild Bill:

    Clarifying thrive. Not in a baseball sense, in well rounded human being sense, if so all else will fall into place.

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    Thanks again for these profiles. Does anyone know how Fernando Kelli is doing this ST? I had hopes for him because of his stats in PR.
    It does look like we have a number of athletic OFs coming through.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I believe position players report this week, Jonathan.

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