White Sox: Is Matt Davidson the Future at Third Base?
Could White Sox slugger become third baseman of the future on the South Side? The former Arizona Diamondback is enjoying a solid first half with the Pale Hose.
With the recent draft signing of 2017 first round draft pick Jake Burger, it appears the Chicago White Sox have found their future at third base. Or have they? Current White Sox third baseman Matt Davidson is making a very good case for why he should be the long term option at the hot corner.
The 26-year-old third baseman started the 2017 season as the 25th man on the regular season roster. Fast forward almost three months later, and Davidson is the team leader in home runs (16) and slugging percentage (.564). There have been many surprises throughout this White Sox team so far this season, but Davidson might be the biggest surprise of them all.
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An early season sickness to starting third baseman Todd Frazier may have been the spark to Davidson’s success. In his first start of the season, he hit a home run and drove in three en route to a Sox win over Detroit on April 6. From then on, he has played on an almost everyday basis. When Frazier made his return to the lineup and hot corner at the end of April, it gave Sox manager Rick Renteria a chance to give Davidson a shot at the designated hitter role before the Sox sent down Cody Asche to Triple-A Charlotte. The move could not have panned out any better.
Davidson, a former first round pick himself, was traded from the Arizona Diadmondbacks to the White Sox back in 2013 for former Sox closer Addison Reed. Davidson was drafted with the praise of having huge middle of the order potential which attracted the White Sox to trade their 40 save closer at the time.
Davidson spent two and a half years in the White Sox minor league system at Triple-A Charlotte. Down at Triple-A, Davidson hit .223/.308/.397 with 53 HR’s and 175 RBI’s over 346 games played. Not very impressive numbers, but Davidson made the most of his opportunity during spring training of this year when there were many bench spots open on the White Sox roster. Even with Davidson’s great first half performance, is that enough to have his future secured at third base?
Clearly not, the small sample size of less than 200 at bats is not nearly enough to spell out Davidson’s future projections. His power has always been there even throughout the low averages in the minors, but his 42 percent strikeout clip in such a few amount of bats is also incredibly alarming.
He has so far proven to be a damage hitter at the major league level, which could spell a future DH role which Davidson has adjusted too well this season. Davidson has improved on the defensive side of the ball, but with the recent draft pick of Burger who had won a gold glove at Missouri State last season, he projects to be a very solid two way third baseman in the near future.
Next: White Sox Agree to Terms With Jake Burger
If Davidson continues to power through the American League in the second half of the season, he will be the starting DH of the future for the Sox, with Burger waiting in the wings at third.