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Refined Swing Helps Jaylin Davis Find Power

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During spring training this year, outfielder Jaylin Davis spent a lot of time working on a swing alteration with Peter Fatse, who then was the Twins’ minor league hitting coordinator.

"It kind of helped me get my legs more in my swing and be more consistent at the plate," Davis said. "It definitely worked.”

That’s an understatement. Davis, whom the Giants acquired from Minnesota in the Sam Dyson deal at the trade deadline, hit 35 homers over stints at Double-A and Triple-A in 2019.

He had hit a combined 42 over his previous three seasons.

"I was definitely seeing the ball a lot better,” Davis said. "My head wasn’t bouncing as much. Even my walks went up.”

Those 65 walks helped Davis compile a composite batting line of .306/.397/.590 in 126 games.

"He does a lot of things well,” farm director Kyle Haines said. "He plays a good outfield. He gives you a good at-bat, and then the power just shot up this year, obviously. It’s a big indicator more of his at-bat quality than it is his ability to just muscle the ball out of the ballpark.”

Davis, listed at 6-foot-1, 190 pounds, hit 10 homers in 102 at-bats with the Giants’ Triple-A affiliate in Sacramento before earning a callup to the big club in September.

The 25-year-old Davis largely struggled in the majors, batting 7-for-42 (.162) with one home run. On the bright side, Statcast data pegged him as one of the fastest players in the majors, similar in raw speed to Ronald Acuña Jr. and Victor Robles.

Davis, whom the Twins drafted in the 24th round out of Appalachian State in 2015, still took positives from his month in the majors.

"I feel like I’ve already gotten my feet wet up there and I’ll be fine,” he said.

With the Giants’ outfield in flux, Davis should have a shot at making the Opening Day roster out of spring training, most likely as a right fielder.

"I don’t know if we’ll ever see him hit 35 homers (in a season) in the major leagues,” Haines said, "but I think his ability to drive the ball for extra bases is real.”

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