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Better know your Blue Jays 40-man: Jonathan Davis

Back in early September of last year Jonathan Davis was added to our 40-man roster, which also bought us the end Mike Hauschild’s time as a Blue Jays.

Hauschild had one shining moment in a Blue Jays uniform. August 2nd, in Seattle. We were expecting a bullpen day. Tyler Clippard got the ‘start’. He pitched 1 inning, giving up 2 earned on a Nelson Cruz home run. There were a few of us Jays fans (25 or 30 thousand or so) at the game and we were figuring on a long game.

But Hauschild (who I didn’t even know was on the roster, being in Seattle I wasn’t getting the moment by moment news) came in and pitched 6 scoreless innings and we ended up winning the game 7-3. His performance bought him a start, 6 days later. That game didn’t go as well, 2.1 innings, 3 hits, 3 walks, 4 earned. The next day he was optioned to Buffalo.

Anyway Jonathan Davis…..

Davis got added to the 40-man roster to be a September call up. I’ll admit it surprised me because Davis has, plus or minus, the same skill set Dalton Pompley has, speed, bit of power and ability to play all three outfield spots. And Dalton was on the 40-man.

But the team didn’t want to bring Pompey up, for reasons that only they know, but likely have to do with making some point to Dalton. I’m guessing the point was “listen to us”. Listen to your coaches. Don’t listen to others. Listen to us.

Again I digress.

Davis is 26 (turns 27 in May). He’s a right-handed hitter. He hit .282/..359/.422, with 10 home runs and 26 steals, in 124 games split between New Hampshire and Buffalo. He was very good as a Fisher Cat, .302/.388/.443 and not so good as a Bison, .249/.308/.389.

For the Jays he had 27 PA and hit .200/.259/.240 and stole 3 bases (tying him for third on the Jays last year, we didn’t steal much).

Matt wrote about him in his Beyond the Top 40: Top 5 Older Prospects post (we don’t consider players over 25 for our prospect list). He said:

Anthony Alford’s brother-in-law has put himself on the map in his own right, with a strong 2016 in high-A and a decent 2017 in AA followed by a strong stint in the Arizona Fall League that turned some heads. Jonathan Mayo labeling him a breakout AFL prospect, and he’ll be in big league Spring Training as a non-roster invitee.

I could see him making the big leagues, and maybe even lasting for a few years as an extra guy with the ability to contribute in multiple ways. I don’t see much beyond a fringe role, despite the hype since the end of last year. But if nothing else, he’s now the #1 ranked Davis in the system (I guess we’re not getting Trout for our #2 Davis).

And I agree. Of course, this was a year ago, a year later he’s older and doesn’t have the ‘breakout’ label anymore, but he could be fine in a fringe role. Unfortunately, every year older there is less of a chance that will happen.

If we went back 40 years, back before teams carried 8 or 9 relievers, Davis would be a good 5th outfielder because he can pinch run and he plays good defense, and could be an ok pinch hitter. But teams can’t carry a 5th outfielder anymore. Or carry a guy that’s just a pinch runner. I’ll admit, that’s my least favorite change in baseball over the years. I feel that the extra bat is a player who can win you a game, but that 8th or 9th pitcher is someone who will only play when a game is already lost.

I am curious to see how things go this spring. If Pompey were to make the team, I don’t see Davis staying on the 40-man. We have 8 outfielders on the 40-man. Davis is the one of the 8 who I really can’t see a path to starting job, without several injuries (well him and Dwight Smith, but I think Smith could become a platoon player).

Unless Davis has a very good spring and Pompey has a very poor spring (or if the team just decides to give up on Pompey), I doubt Davis stays on the 40-man this year. I think Davis’ future with the team depends on Pompey’s future.

Poll

If the over/under is 50 Blue Jays PA I’d take the

  • 17%

    Over

    (37 votes)

  • 82%

    Under

    (176 votes)



213 votes total

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Poll

September 30th Davis is

  • 22%

    On the Jays 40-man

    (49 votes)

  • 77%

    Off the Jays 40-man.

    (166 votes)



215 votes total

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