Davis powers Kernels with three homers

Twins outfielder makes adjustments ahead of four-RBI game

Jaylin Davis was the second player in the Midwest League to collect three long balls in a single game. (Rich Guill/MiLB.com)

By Michael Peng / MiLB.com | May 17, 2017 12:50 AM ET

Recently, Jaylin Davis has been working with his Class A Kernels hitting coach Brian Dinkelman and manager Tommy Watkins on accentuating his strengths.

He showed those results again, and again, and again Tuesday.

The Minnesota outfield prospect homered three times and drove in four runs in Cedar Rapids' 7-6 win over Peoria at Perfect Game Field. He had four long balls on the season coming into the contest.


Gameday box score


"We've been working on being more relaxed and not jumpy at the plate," Davis said. "I've been trying to stay middle-away, because that's where I hit the ball best. And when I try to pull the ball is usually when I get into trouble."

True to his approach, the 22-year-old homered to center field in the second and the fourth innings before completing the trifecta with a solo shot to right-center to lead off the seventh.

Video: Cedar Rapids' Davis goes deep three times

"I feel like I saw the ball really well," Davis said. "I haven't been the past couple of weeks, so I think today really helped out a lot."

All three of Davis' homers came at the expense of Chiefs starter Ian Oxnevad, who apparently gave away a tell to the 2015 24th-round pick during the game.

2017 Minor League milestones

"He would quick-pitch sometimes tonight, and when he quick-pitches, he only threw fastballs," Davis said. "So when I saw that, I just zoned in on getting a fastball."

The Kernels needed every bit of Davis' heroics too, as he provided all the offense in the first seven innings. The Appalachian State University product's two-run shot in the fourth gave them a 3-0 lead, and his final long ball in the seventh tied the game.

"I feel like I really helped out the team tonight," Davis said. "I don't think it put so much pressure on the other guys late in the game, so it felt really good."

Davis had one other multi-homer game on his ledger, on July 1, 2016 with Rookie-level Elizabethton. His teammates probably weren't aware of that, though, considering the challenge they issued him during the game.

MiLB include

"After the first one, they were just teasing me, saying I won't hit another one," Davis said. "But when I got back to the dugout after the third one, they were just all laughing and being excited for me."

Davis became the first Kernels player to accomplish the feat since Mitch Garver on July 21, 2014. He and Lake County's Jose Medina are the only players to have amassed three home runs in a game this season in the Midwest League.

Twins No. 10 prospect Lewin Diaz helped Cedar Rapids retake the lead in the eighth with a two-run double to center.

Hector Lujan (2-0) held on for the win after allowing two runs on four hits over two innings.

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

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