|Davis Feels Like He Belongs|
Davis had 18 extra-base hits & 25 stolen bases
Outfielder D.J. Davis, this year's first round pick by the Blue Jays, had a solid professional debut season, hitting a combined .250 with 18 extra-base hits and 25 stolen bases while ascending three minor league levels in his first year. The naturally quiet player has seen his confidence grow quickly and now he says he feels like he belongs.
"It went great," Davis said of his debut season. "I started in the GCL, jumped a few levels, won a championship, it felt great. I was expecting to see more competition pitching-wise [after the jump in levels]. They got better, they had more command, it was great."
His rather shy demeanor in person certainly doesn't come across that way on the field and it was his ability to make quick adjustments that really stood out in his first season.
After going hitless in the first game of a double-header of his Bluefield debut, Davis proceeded to then go on a six-game hitting streak that included five multi-hit games. He finished hitting .340 in twelve Appalachian League games before getting promoted to Vancouver.
He hit just .167 there but got on base eight times in five games and helped Vancouver through a successful championship run.
"I surprised myself a little bit," he admitted. "What really surprised me was going to Bluefield, in that first game I was nervous. I didn't think I was going to do that good but I did good. I held my ground."
Hitting for five home runs didn't really surprise him even though he is the first one to admit that power isn't a big part of his game as a leadoff hitter. While he does admit he struggled at times getting bunts down and improving his small-ball game, he says he worked on those areas of his game at Instructs.
"The hardest adjustment is getting the bunt down, seeing it down, that's about it," he said. "Another outfielder from Instructional League showed my how to get better jumps on the bases that will get me to second [base] quicker. Kenny Wilson also showed me how to bunt better. He helped me out a lot."
He feels Instructs went really well for him but he also knows he still has some fine-tuning to do on his game going forward.
"My approach at the plate, have a plan when I get in there," he said of what he would most like to improve. "At first I didn't have a plan. I'd go up there looking for a pitch and then swing. Now I have a plan. I'm looking for my pitch and just sitting on it."
Even though he is a quiet guy by nature, now that he's had some success in his first season and seeing his game grow, the confidence level is staring to rise as well.
"I'm coming out of my shell," he said with a smile. "Guys will tell you if you ask them that I'm coming out of my shell. At first I was saying too much. I was just trying to get used to it all but I'm adapting to it. It's great.
"I'm very excited for next season, especially Spring Training when we get the [championship] ring. I'm just ready to get it going."
Able to do so many things on a baseball diamond, Davis, who just turned 18 years old at the end of July, continues to get more comfortable with each passing day and perhaps most importantly he isn't intimidated at all.
"My confidence level right now is high. It's way higher than when I started out. I'm feeling pretty comfortable now. I feel like I belong now," he concluded.