Davis Back In Rangers' Future
DALLAS—In one quick sweep of the hand, a sweep that included magically delivering Cliff Lee to the Rangers, Chris Davis went from forgotten first baseman to first baseman of the future.
Or, at least the present.
In the wake of a trade that sent first baseman Justin Smoak, along with minor league righthanders Blake Beavan and Josh Leuke and infielder Matt Lawson to Seattle for Lee, the Rangers promoted Davis from Triple-A back to the majors. The 24-year-old Davis had been in the minors since late April.
"When I was sent down at first, it was tough," Davis said. "I was frustrated. I wasn't sure if I'd lost the job for good. But I didn't want to give them a reason to get rid of me. I had to focus on doing the best job I could at Triple-A and not worry about when or how I might get back. I just wanted put myself in a position where I'd be ready to do the job if the opportunity presented itself."
It was the second consecutive year that Davis began the season as the Rangers' first baseman only to be sent to the minors. A deluge of strikeouts, a lack of walks and a sub-.200 average led to the demotion.
While at Triple-A, though, Davis proved that he has nothing left to prove in the minors. He hit .354 with 10 homers in 67 games for Oklahoma City. But Davis also hit .333 during in 2009 at Oklahoma City. Now, he must make the proper adjustments to stick for good.
"I think my approach in the past would have been to just try and crush the ball " Davis said. "Now, I'm just trying to have good at-bats. When there is a chance to move a man from second to third or third to home, that's my approach. I think I've actually simplified my approach by not trying to do too much. I don't need to change the game with one swing."
• Twenty-year-old outfielder Engel Beltre seems to have found something to unlock some of his awesome offensive potential. After hitting .331/.376/.460 in 68 games at high Class A Bakersfield, Beltre hit .352/.403/.481 in his first 15 games upon a promotion to Double-A Frisco.
• By including Irving, Texas, native Beavan in the Lee deal, the Rangers traded away both of their 2007 first-round righthanders in the span of two weeks—Michael Main was sent to the Giants in the Bengie Molina deal.