Jays From the Couch highlights the 2017 season of Jonathan Davis, Toronto Blue Jays outfield prospect
Whether he goes by J.D. Davis or Jonathan Davis, this Blue Jays prospect had an outstanding year in 2017. Jonathan Davis played 128 games with the Toronto Blue Jays Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats. He set career highs in runs scored, hits and games played.
Drafted in 2013 in the 15th round, Davis struggled to get regular playing time until 2016 with the Dunedin Blue Jays. The best word to describe Davis during his first couple of professional seasons was ‘streaky’. He was steaky with his health and with his production. When healthy, Davis would hit the cover off the ball but would eventually end up on the disabled list or bench for long stretches.
That changed in 2016. He was given a chance to play every day and lady luck allowed him to have a breakout season, playing in 120 games. Despite having a breakout season, consistency remained a question mark for the 5-foot-8 Central Arkansas alumni.
Entering 2017, Davis joined the Eastern League New Hampshire Fisher Cats. He had his work cut out for him, competing with Harold Ramirez, Anthony Alford, and Roemon Fields for playing time. Let’s see how the season went.
Davis got his season off to a good start. He put together a 17-game on-base streak which started on April 9th and ended on April 30th. He played appeared in 19 games and slashed .254/.390/.381. Despite being a Double-A rookie, Davis showed good plate discipline with 13 walks and 20 strikeouts while hitting two doubles and two home runs. He got off to a rough start in the stolen base department with one successful attempt in three tries.
With Roemon Fields promoted to Buffalo (April 29th) and Anthony Alford promoted to Toronto (May 19th), Davis saw an increase in his playing time. Jonathan Daivs would play 27 games in May, batting .247/.327/.361 with five doubles, two home runs, and 18 runs scored. His walk rate dipped and his troubles on the bases continued.
The Fisher Cats CF walked 9 times and struck out 26 times in May. Davis stole 4 bases but was caught 3 times.
Davis finished the month off strong, as he started his longest on-base streak of the season on May 18th.
Riding a solid on-base streak, Davis put together his best month of the year, batting average wise. The former 15th round pick batted .266/.366/.443 with 6 doubles, his first triple, 2 more home runs, and 15 runs scored. He showed improvements at the plate with 13 walks and 18 strikeouts in 23GP. On the bases, Jonathan Davis was successful in 5-of-6 stolen base attempts.
Davis’ longest on-base streak of the season ended on June 15th at 23 games.
In 28 games, Davis batted .247/.407/.376 with 2 doubles, 2 triples, and 2 home runs. He scored 18 runs while looking even more comfortable at the plate with 22 walks and 18 strikeouts. On the bases, Davis went 5-for-8 in stolen base attempts. Davis saw his batting average fall below .250 but his on-base was over .400 thanks to the 22 walks.
Davis had another sub-.250 month with .245/.339/.376. He still showed decent extra-base power with 5 more doubles and a triple. He hit standard 2HR/month in August and scored 17 runs.
The grind of the season may have caught up with Davis, as he struck out a season-high 28 times and walked just 12 times. On the bases, Davis was 4-for-7 in stolen base attempts.
Davis showed a lot more consistency in 2017. His highest batting average was .266 and lowest was .245 while he hit 2HR/mth and could be counted on to score close to 20 runs/mth and hit 5 doubles/mth.
Davis’ final line was .249/.361/.379 with 111 hits, 20 doubles, 4 triples, 10 HR, 75 R (2nd EL), and 20 stolen bases.
Davis spent most of his time in CF where he did not commit an error in 94 games. He produced a 2.58 range factor in CF and obviously, a 1.000 fielding percentage with 2 outfield assists.
Most nights you could find Jonathan Davis leading off of the Fisher Cats (98 games). Davis spent time batting 2nd (4GP), 8th (12GP), and 9th (8GP).
Davis posted identical 0.63 BB/K between ’16 and ’17. In ’17 he posted 12.6 BB% and 20.1 K% while in ’16 he posted 13.4 BB% and 21.4 K%.
Davis produced at or slightly above league average with a .347 wOBA and 109 wRC+. He posted a decent .130 ISO while finishing with a .304 BABIP.
According to Fangraphs, Davis pulled the ball 45.4% of the time while going up the middle or opposite field just 26.6% and 28.0% of the time.
According to MLBfarm the Top 3 outcomes of Jonathan Davis’ plate appearances in 2017 were: strikeout (110), groundball (90), and single (77).
The Top 3 hit locations were: LF (63), CF (63), and SS (54).
Home run locations: LF (5), LF-CF (2), CF (2), and RF (1).
I had a hard time picking so I went with two games.
July 17th- Davis went 2-for-2 with a double, a triple, and 2 runs scored.
June 29th- Davis went 2-for-3 with an HR, a walk, an SB, and 3 runs scored.
Jonathan Davis is heading to the Arizona Fall League. This tells me the Front Office want to see how Davis fares against the games top prospects.
Davis will be Rule 5 eligible unless added to the 40-man roster. While the 25-yr-old is a very good Double-A outfielder, he didn’t do enough in 2017 to warrant being added to the 40-man roster this off-season.
Despite a solid 2017, I fully expect to see Jonathan Davis return to Double-A in 2018. A lot of what happens to Davis in 2018 depends on the handling of Anthony Alford and Teoscar Hernandez.
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