Chicago Cubs: Brennen Davis is ready to take the next step

(Photo by Rich Pilling/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rich Pilling/Getty Images) /
(Photo by Jeff Haynes/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jeff Haynes/Getty Images) /

A late second-round selection of the Chicago Cubs in the 2018 MLB Amateur draft, Brennen Davis has dominated his way through the system. The 19-year-old is now ready for the next step.

There is a possibility that looking back a few years from now the Chicago Cubs’ 2018 draft class could be one of the best. The team drafted Nico Hoerner out of Stanford with their first-round pick and followed it up with Brennen Davis, an outfielder from Basha High School in Arizona.

Davis flew under the radar, leaving the chance for Chicago to nab him with the 62nd pick overall. Theo Epstein has always had a keen eye for talent and Davis is indeed fitting that mold through his first two professional seasons.

The lanky teen began his professional career with the Arizona League Cubs, but his talents would not be held down for long. Davis is now making waves as the number three overall prospect in Chicago’s prospect pipeline.

Chicago Cubs: A true star in the making

Davis starred at Basha for two seasons, appearing in 38 games. Across that span, Davis hit .426 with a .557 OBP and 41 runs. In his senior season, Davis swiped 13 bags in 23 games, showcasing his speed. Most impressively across his two seasons, Davis did not make a single error.

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Making his summer league debut in 2018, Davis saw 72 plate appearances. The righty slashed a robust .298/.431/.333 with a .387 wOBA and 132 wRC+. His patience at the plate showed through his 13.9 percent walk rate and lowly 16.7 percent strikeout rate. Also continuing to show his speed, Davis managed six steals.

He earned a promotion to South Bend to begin this year and took it in stride. Davis played on a completely different level, slashing .305/.381/.525. He found a newfound power by mashing eight home runs and driving in 30 runs. His wOBA and wRC+ climbed to .415 and 160, respectively.

Davis’ speed score, a metric used on Fangraphs to measure speed and base running ability, increased from 5.4 last season to 6.8 this year. According to the FanGraphs chart, that is nearly an excellent rating. Diving more into his advanced metrics, Davis also improved his OPS from .764 to a whopping .907. For a teenager, that is phenomenal.

Chicago Cubs: Ready for the next step, and beyond

Davis has the makings of a future center fielder for the Cubs. Davis’ smooth approach through the zone allows him to drive the ball with gusto and he can mash when he connects. While Davis is generally a pull hitter, he does possess the ability to drive the ball to all fields.

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One advantage for Davis is the Cubs do not currently have many top tier outfield prospects. The only player outside of Davis who could be considered right now is Cole Roederer, who is impressive in his own right.

The odds are in Davis’ favor to begin 2020 in Double-A Tennessee. Davis has an estimated arrival time to the major leagues of 2023. However, if he continues to mash as he has, Davis could find himself on the grand stage sooner rather than later.