Matt Davidson
Matt Davidson
27-Year-Old First Baseman1B
Texas Rangers
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Nobody is questioning Davidson’s power, but many question if he can make enough contact to fully take advantage of his power. Davidson hit 11 home runs with a .261/.383/.591 slash line over the first six weeks of the season with a 16% walk rate and a 31% strikeout rate. He hit .221/.292/.371 with nine homers the rest of the way as the league discovered how to avoid his nitro zone. The offensive issues are exacerbated against righties -- Davidson’s on-base percentage is 100 points lower than it is against lefties thanks in part to a 36% strikeout rate. Davidson ended the season pitching a few times and the White Sox entertained the idea of making him a two-way player for the 2019 season, but they ultimately chose to non-tender Davidson. Chances are, he will have to settle for a minor-league deal with a spring training invite from another club. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a one-year, minor-league contract with the Rangers in February of 2019.
Lands in Texas
1BTexas Rangers  NRI
February 1, 2019
Davidson agreed to a minor-league deal with the Rangers on Friday, Jeff Passan of reports.
Davidson talked about pursuing a two-way role with the White Sox before being non-tendered by the team in November, and it sounds as though the Rangers are interested in exploring that idea. The 27-year-old's .226/.295/.435 career line isn't good enough to earn regular at-bats for a player limited to the infield corners defensively, but if he can eat some innings out of the bullpen as well he'd likely deserve a roster spot. He's retired nine of the 11 batters he's faced in the big leagues thus far, though that sample is obviously far too small to conclude that he'll be a viable option on the mound.
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Batting Stats
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Minor League Game Log
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Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2016
Since 2016vs Left .823 255 29 10 34 0 .272 .345 .478
Since 2016vs Right .691 686 66 36 97 0 .207 .271 .420
2018vs Left .882 131 16 5 18 0 .289 .382 .500
2018vs Right .687 365 35 15 44 0 .206 .296 .391
2017vs Left .759 122 12 5 15 0 .250 .303 .455
2017vs Right .693 321 31 21 53 0 .209 .243 .450
2016vs Left 1.000 2 1 0 1 0 .500 .500 .500
2016vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2016
OPS on Road
OPS on Road
OPS at Home
OPS at Home
Since 2016Home .698 463 44 20 67 0 .220 .287 .411
Since 2016Away .754 478 51 26 64 0 .230 .295 .459
2018Home .669 240 22 5 27 0 .224 .317 .352
2018Away .802 256 29 15 35 0 .232 .320 .482
2017Home .722 221 21 15 39 0 .213 .253 .469
2017Away .701 222 22 11 29 0 .227 .266 .435
2016Home 1.000 2 1 0 1 0 .500 .500 .500
2016Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
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Stat Review
How does Matt Davidson compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances). The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
At age 26, Davidson had his first near-complete season at the big-league level. For those who simply needed cheap power from the waiver wire, Davidson scratched that itch with 26 homers in 443 plate appearances, but there are major concerns in his profile. His strikeout rate soared to 37.2 percent, which paired with his lack of walks (4.3 percent), generated a meager .220/.260/.452 line. To make matters worse, he hit just .209/.243/.450 against righties thanks to his 39.9 percent strikeout rate in that split. Nothing is guaranteed to Davidson as far as playing time in 2018. While the White Sox continue their rebuilding effort, they'll have plenty of competition for roster spots. Moreover, Davidson's below-average defense at third base will push him more toward regular DH duty when he plays since Jose Abreu is entrenched at first base. He's more likely to be squeezed from the White Sox's 25-man roster in 2018 than he is to repeat or improve upon what he did last season.
Davidson's time in the White Sox's organization had mostly been filled with disappointment, but the former top prospect turned things around somewhat in his third year at Triple-A Charlotte. He continued to flash solid power (10 home runs, 20 doubles, .176 ISO in 284 Triple-A at-bats), but more notable was the fact that he brought his strikeout percentage below 30 percent for the first time since leaving the Diamondbacks while raising his on-base percentage to .349. These numbers paired with an assortment of problems in Chicago led the White Sox to promote the 25-year-old for his first big league action since 2013. The good times ended abruptly, however, as he broke his foot just six innings into his cup of coffee with the White Sox, ending his season. Despite the unfortunate finish, Davidson seems to have made some adjustments at the plate, which could help him compete for a major league roster spot out of spring training.
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 since he joined the organization that offseason. His big bat power has translated away from the friendly confines of the Diamondbacks’ minor league affiliates, as he has posted consecutive 20-home run seasons and a .179 ISO in his two years at Triple-A Charlotte. However, he has also struck out in excess of 30 percent of his plate appearances in the past two seasons while his on-base percentage has plummeted. Unless that trend reverses, Davidson will likely continue to toil away in the minors. The team's decision to go out and acquire Todd Frazier via trade speaks highly to what they expect (or rather, do not expect) from Davidson in the coming years.
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.
More Fantasy News
Cut loose by White Sox
1BFree Agent  NRI
November 30, 2018
The White Sox will not tender Davidson a contract for 2019, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports.
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Exploring two-way role
1BChicago White Sox  NRI
September 24, 2018
Davidson will talk with the White Sox over the offseason to discuss whether a two-way role is a possibility, James Fegan of The Athletic reports.
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Hits game-winner in extras
1BChicago White Sox  NRI
September 21, 2018
Davidson went 2-for-6 with an RBI in the White Sox's extra-innings win over the Indians on Thursday.
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Returns to Saturday's lineup
1BChicago White Sox  NRI
September 15, 2018
Davidson (calf) will serve as designated hitter and bat seventh against the Orioles on Saturday, Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
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Health continues to improve
1BChicago White Sox  NRI
September 14, 2018
Davidson (calf) is feeling better and is available off the bench again for Friday's series opener against Baltimore, Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
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