When J.D. Davis made the leap from the New York-Penn League to the Midwest League, even the manager he left behind was a little apprehensive. In less than two weeks, Davis has provided some impressive answers.
The Astros' 2014 third-round pick ripped four hits, scored twice and added an RBI as Class A Quad Cities beat Bowling Green, 9-2, on Sunday at Bowling Green Ballpark.
Davis ignited the River Bandits in the second inning with an RBI double in his first trip to the plate, then singled one frame later.
In the eighth, Davis sparked his team again, leading off with a single and later scoring on Dayne Parker's base hit to left. He singled once more in the ninth to finish off his fourth multi-hit performance in his last seven games.
"When he first came here, we sat down with him and said, 'Listen. Do what you do. You just got signed, and I'm going to watch you to see if I see anything out of the ordinary,'" Quad Cities hitting coach Joel Chimelis said. "When he first came up, he was pressing. He was trying to do a little too much. As a result, it affected his mechanics."
Chimelis and Davis worked to correct an overstriding issue in the third baseman's swing. After just two hits in the Davis' first 14 Class A plate appearances, he has batted .429 (12-for-28) in the seven games since.
"As a result, he's seeing the ball better," Chimelis said. "His bat path is shorter to the ball. It's just a matter of relaxing, making the minor adjustments physically, and it's history for now. I haven't seen him too much, but I like what I see."
Selected by Houston out of Cal State Fullerton last month, Davis was promoted from short-season Tri-City to Quad Cities after batting .279/.382/.495 with five homers and 20 RBIs in 30 games for the ValleyCats. The move came after just a month in professional baseball.
"I spoke to [Ed Romero,] the manager in Tri-City, and he wasn't too sure if [Davis] was going to be able to handle this right away because he was hitting .270-something in Tri-City," Chimelis said. "When he came up here, he said that the pitching is a little bit different in that you have a lot of guys throwing 90-plus (miles per hour), more than in the New York-Penn League. It's just a matter of him trusting his ability. One hit leads to a little bit more confidence, and it keeps building. Right now, he's full of confidence, and it looks like he's been here all year."
Chimelis also attributes the 21-year-old's hot start to his ability to be mindful of the help available to him.
"When I'm in the dugout, he'll come right next to me and ask, 'What's going on? Am I dropping my bat?' He did that a week-and-a-half ago," Chimelis said. "I feel good that he came up to me and asked questions because I just met him. To build that relationship right away, and for him to make a minor adjustment, that shows a lot of a hitter. I've had guys here that I've tried to make adjustments, and it's taken a lot longer. That type of aptitude is great to see in a young hitter, especially in his first year."
Davis was one of four River Bandits players with multiple hits Sunday night, and leadoff man Brett Phillips led both teams with three RBIs after an eighth-inning homer.
Edison Frias (7-5) allowed two runs on six hits over seven innings for the win. He struck out eight and didn't allow a walk.
Bowling Green starter Jacob Faria (6-6) was charged with five runs -- three earned -- on six hits and one walk while striking out two over three innings for the loss.