Khris Davis Looking to Continue to Grow as a Hitter

Despite an early season injury, Khris Davis had a breakout year in 2012.  The Brewers’ 7th round draft pick in the 2009 First Year Player Draft joined Double-A Huntsville after recovering from a calf injury.  With the Stars, he hit .383 with eight home runs and 23 RBI in 44 games.  The injury nagged him throughout the season, but he battled through and earned a promotion to Triple-A Nashville late in the year.

“My season had its ups and downs,” Davis said.  “That is just baseball, it’s a roller coaster ride.  You have to learn to get through it all and I think I did that and performed well.”

With the Sounds, the outfielder hit .310 with four home runs and 24 RBI.  Over his last 45 games of the 2012 season between Huntsville and Nashville, Davis recorded hits in 37 of those games (.365, 60-for-164).

“He’s just gradually gotten better each year,” said Darnell Coles, manager of the Huntsville Stars and hitting coach for the Phoenix Desert Dogs in the Arizona Fall League.  “He is one of the best players in the organization at hitting through the middle.  He got hurt a little bit during the beginning of the year, but came back from that strong.  He didn’t stop hitting in Double-A and moved up to Triple-A where he hit as well.”

Khris Davis

Brewers President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Doug Melvin also had good things to say about Davis’ development.

“He is one of the most disciplined hitters in our organization,” Melvin said.  “He has some good power, too. We haven’t really seen it during the Fall League, but we know it is there.”

Fortunately, Davis has the opportunity to continue to grow as a hitter here at the Arizona Fall League.  Working every day with Coles and playing against top competition for six weeks will certainly benefit Davis’ development.

“I feel like there is always room for improvement when it comes to hitting,” Davis said.  “No one is as good as they want to be.  There is still a lot of work to be done as far as my work and study as a hitter.”

Khris Davis

Currently in the Fall League, Davis is hitting .226 with six RBI.

“I wanted to work on cutting back on my strikeouts and being more aggressive earlier in the counts and not take as many pitches,” Davis said of his goals while at the Arizona Fall League.  “I feel if I get ahead early, it works to my advantage as a hitter.”

Davis, who was drafted out of Cal State-Fullerton, is participating in his first Arizona Fall League, but makes his offseason residence in Phoenix and went to high school in the area at Deer Valley.  He has previously participated in Brewers winter conditioning programs and plans on remaining in the area and working out at the Brewers Maryvale complex before Spring Training.

“The Brewers winter programs have been great for me,” Davis said.  “There is always a lot of one-on-one attention there and that is always good.  To be in front of their eyes working is beneficial to me as a player.”

He doesn’t plan on taking much of a break after the league wraps up next week.

“I want to get in the weight room and work on my strength,” Davis said.  “I don’t want to take too much time off.  We don’t have the luxury to do that as the sport is year-round.  There isn’t much of a break; you need to have a special mindset in the offseason to prepare for the next season.”

Until then, Davis has another week in the Arizona Fall League and another week for some one-on-one coaching with Coles.

“He has got a chance to be a special hitter in the big leagues,” Coles said of Davis.  “For him, it is now just a process of continuing to grow and understand himself as a hitter.”

 –JOHN

johnandcait@brewers.com

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