25-Year-Old Third Baseman – Chicago White Sox
2016 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
On the eve of the 2014 season, it looked like Davidson might open the year as the White Sox’s starting third baseman. He did not, and his status has an MLB prospect status has taken a major nosedive s...
Matt Davidson Contract Information:
Agreed to terms with the White Sox in March 2015.
Davidson is carrying a .200/.294/.383 slash line through his first 16 games (60 at-bats) at Triple-A Charlotte.
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Matt Davidson: MLB Games Played By Position
Matt Davidson: Minor League Games Played By Position
Matt Davidson Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
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Chicago White Sox Roster
MajorsAbreu, Jose (1B)
AABrennan, Brandon (P)
A+Adams, Spencer (P)
AFields, Daniel (OF)
RookieAlfaro, Jhoandro (C)
Matt Davidson: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Davidson entered 2014 with high expectations, and he did not meet any of them. The White Sox acquired him in the 2013 offseason for closer Addison Reed, and he only had to beat out the likes of Conor Gillaspie for the Opening Day third base gig. He struck out too much in spring training, however, earned a demotion to Triple-A Charlotte, and then failed to hit .200. Some drop off was to be expected with the change of minor league environments (Reno to Charlotte), but his already-high strikeout rate hit 30% and he struck out 40 times in April alone. Part of the struggle may have been the psychological effect of moving to a new organization with high hopes and then missing the roster, so there is some hope for a rebound. The organization's depth at third remains slim, so he could man the hot corner at some point in 2015.
A late-season callup, Davidson didn't show his potential in the big leagues last September. Despite winning the Triple-A Home Run Derby and hitting 17 home runs in Reno in 115 games last year, he only went deep three times for the Snakes. Blocked in Arizona with Paul Goldschmidt entrenched at first base and Martin Prado signed long term to play third, Davidson was flipped to the White Sox in December for closer Addison Reed. Once he's deemed ready for the big leagues, Davidson should be able to take over as the White Sox's starting third baseman with a much clearer path to playing time than he ever had with the D-Backs.
Davidson proved that the power he displayed at Visalia in 2011 was not simply the byproduct of a hitter-friendly environment, as he increased his ISO from .188 to .210 with a promotion to Double-A Mobile last season. It's also a very encouraging sign that his plate discipline improved, as Davidson drew more walks (11.8%) and struck out less (21.7%). After splitting time at the corner-infield spots at High-A, Davidson was used exclusively at third base during his time at Double-A and the result was an improved fielding percentage (.921) with nearly three times as many chances. A big league debut in 2013 should be on the horizon, but the production of the D-Backs' alternatives at the position, and the readiness of his glove will ultimately determine his arrival.
Davidson was the other half of the D-Backs' young corner-infield tandem at Visalia in 2011, splitting time with Bobby Borchering at first and third base. Although Borchering showed a bit more pop, Davidson boasted a better fielding percentage at third base and ultimately that could be a factor in determining which player gets the first look with the big club. Like Borchering, Davidson still needs to improve his eye at the plate and the development plan should leave both players in a similar arrangement at Double-A Mobile in 2012.
The other half of the D-Backs' young power-hitting tandem at Low-A South Bend, Davidson turned his .289/.371/.504 line into a late season callup to High-A Visalia. Much like teammate Bobby Borchering, the big questions surrounding Davidson's future are centered around concerns about his defensive ability. As a 19-year-old in a pitcher-friendly league, Davidson demonstrated ample plate discipline while trailing only Mariners farmhand Nick Franklin in the home-run department of the players their age last season. He'll return to the California League to open 2011 and a good campaign there may lead to a look with Double-A Mobile before the season is through. If Davidson continues to increase his power output as expected, recognition for his long-term offensive upside will significantly increase.