Davis unloads as 'Cats complete sweep

Astros prospect drives in five runs, homers in second straight game

Tri-City third baseman J.D. Davis drove in 10 runs during a three-game sweep of Lowell. (Kevin Pataky/MiLB.com)

By Mark Emery / MiLB.com | July 6, 2014 10:10 PM

Now settling in after going to Houston in the third round of last month's Draft, J.D. Davis is doing damage for the short-season Tri-City ValleyCats. Just ask the Lowell Spinners.

Davis collected 10 RBIs during a three-game sweep at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium that concluded with Sunday's 11-3 victory. He went 2-for-5 in the series finale, ripping a two-run double to left field in the second inning and slugging a three-run homer to right in the sixth. The five RBIs were a career high.

"I'm feeling pretty good," the Cal State-Fullerton product said. "Me and [batting coach Russ] Steinhorn are kind of slowing things down and going back to my routine of what I was doing or how I was preparing during college."

"Just slowing things down, getting back to my routine and staying within myself, really. But I'm feeling a little more comfortable. I was just a little bit trying to do too much earlier in the season."

Twenty-two games into his professional career, Davis has compiled a .284/.398/.519 slash line with five doubles, a triple, four homers and 18 RBIs. He's also drawn 13 walks and struck out 18 times.

By going deep off reliever Oscar Perez on Sunday, the 21-year-old third baseman gave himself roundtrippers in consecutive games. A day earlier, he left the yard with one on in the first inning against Spinners starter Heri Quevedo.

"I categorize myself as a power hitter that has a knack for getting hits. In college, I always had a high average," Davis said. "I don't go up there trying to hit home runs or hit doubles, they just happen on its own if you just stay within yourself."

For the series, Davis went 6-for-12. On Friday, he singled in a run in the first, plated another with a double in the third and delivered an RBI single in the seventh. He's batting .304 (14-for-46) with runners on base and .290 (9-for-31) with runners in scoring position.

"I've been just talking to [manager Ed] Romero and everything about trying to keep it simple, kind of imagining there's no runners on and just trying to get a pitch out over the plate that I can square up," Davis said. "Not trying to do too much and trying to get a hit necessarily, instead just putting good swings and just squaring up the ball."

Though Davis might have been "excited and wound up" before, he seems to be hitting his stride. That could prove unfortunate for New York-Penn League pitchers.

"I'm feeling pretty comfortable right now," he said. "I'm just trying to keep in the back of my mind what I'm doing right now. In baseball, I'm going to fail. So later on down the road, when I'm not feeling comfortable, I'll try to go back to it."

Ryan Bottger also starred for Tri-City on Sunday. The Astros' 12th-round pick went 4-for-4 with a homer, two doubles, four RBIs, three runs scored and a walk. ValleyCats starter Luis Ordosgoitti (2-1) held the Spinners to a run and four hits over five innings.

Lowell counterpart Jake Drehoff (0-1) gave up five runs -- four earned -- and 10 hits over four frames.

Mark Emery is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @Mark_Emery. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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