Matt Davidson

Matt Davidson during Spring Training on March 25, 2015 in Phoenix, AZ. Davidson had six RBIs on Wednesday. (FutureSox / Daniel Shapiro)

Matt Davidson during Spring Training on March 25, 2015 in Phoenix, AZ. Davidson had six RBIs on Wednesday. (FutureSox / Daniel Shapiro)

Position: 3B
Born: 3/26/91
Ht: 6'2" Wt: 225 B-T: R-R
Acquired: Drafted 1st Round Supplemental (35th overall) in 2009 by ARZ, acquired via trade in December 2013
Career Stats

FutureSox Prospect Rankings

  • #3 - 2014 Preseason
  • #7 - 2014 Midseason
  • #12 - 2015 Preseason
  • #15 - 2015 Midseason
  • #30 - 2016 Preseason

FutureSox Media

Accolades

  • 2010 Midseason and Postseason Midwest League All Star
  • #99 MLB prospect, Baseball America pre-2011
  • #97 MLB prospect, Baseball America pre-2012
  • 2012 Midseason and Postseason Southern League All Star
  • #88 MLB prospect, Baseball America pre-2013
  • 2013 MLB Futures Game selection
  • 2013 Midseason Pacific Coast League All Star
  • #72 MLB prospect, Baseball America pre-2014
  • 2015 International League All Star
  • 2015 Best Defensive 3B in the International League, per Baseball America
  • 2016 International League All Star

Scouting report

Davidson put himself on the map with a huge 2010 as a 19 year old in the Midwest League, posting .289/.371/.504 line. The next three seasons, this California native averaged 20 home runs and over 30 doubles per season as he marched from A+ to AAA on a level-per-season basis. In addition to the power numbers, Matt also posted strong walk rates across those levels. While his core numbers were very good in a possibly-PCL-inflated 2013, his strikeout rate (26.8%) started to be a concern. After a mixed bag in his 31 game MLB debut in late 2013 with the Diamondbacks (.768 OPS, but also 24 K in 87 PA), the White Sox traded closer Addison Reed for a player seen as the future hot corner on the South Side. But after failing to win the job in Chicago in spring training 2014, the new acquisition went on to have one of the most disappointing seasons for a Top 100 prospect in recent memory: .199/.283/.362, 30.4% K/PA in 539 PA while repeating AAA. He still knocked 20 long balls out of Charlotte's new band box. Then in 2015 he finished yet another disappointing AAA campaign (.203/.293/.375, 23 HR, 31.7% K/PA) in his third trip at that level. Finally in 2016, Davidson appeared to have turned a corner (.792 OPS, and a lower but still high 26.4% K/PA), and got his first call-up to the White Sox on June 30th. But he broke a bone in his foot in his MLB debut and didn't return that season.

Davidson's defense has always been a question mark, though scouts have said he's improved enough to stick at the position by the time he hit AAA and the extra work he's put in has brought him up to being a passable hot corner player. The other issue is the considerable swing-and-miss in his game - he has struck out over 30% of the time in 2014 and 2014, and only somewhat lower this year. He's been a three true outcomes hitter, but hasn't been hitting enough to make that work until recently. With perhaps average defense, the contact issues are a serious problem and it's tough to say at this point whether he can be a major league hitter. The club did bring him up for a look in 2016, but his injury might further narrow the already tight window he was looking to hit. His best shot at a job with the big club in 2017 hinges on the team's direction with Todd Frazier in any potential rebuild.

Major League Outlook: Low contact, high power and OBP, offense-reliant third baseman
ETA: 2016

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