Davis launches three long balls for Hooks

No. 12 Astros prospect continues breakout month with five-RBI game

J.D. Davis is batting .339 with a 1.139 OPS in the month of May for the Corpus Christi Hooks. (Walter Barnard)

By Robert Emrich / MiLB.com | May 20, 2016 1:27 AM

Two months into the season, J.D. Davis has experienced the highs and lows of baseball. Thursday certainly qualified as the former.

Houston's No. 12 prospect went deep three times and plated five runs to lift Double-A Corpus Christi past San Antonio, 8-4.

After opening his night with a single to left field in the second inning, Davis launched a solo homer to right in the fourth. Following a groundout in the sixth, the 23-year-old third baseman lined a two-run shot over the left-field wall of Nelson W. Wolff Municipal Stadium in the eighth. Davis capped his night with another two-run blast in the ninth, this time to right.

"It was a good night from pitch one," he said. "I was just trying to put together a good team at-bat. [James] Ramsay got on in the ninth and I just tried to put the ball in play and see if good things would happen. I don't know how many pitches I had, but I kept fighting it off, [righty Elliot Morris] was giving me the whole kitchen sink. I just tried to do my thing and work oppo and stay through the ball."

After enduring a rough April in which he compiled a .526 OPS, Davis has been on fire in May. The California native has gone deep seven times and driven in 16 runs in 15 games this month. Only Class A Asheville's Brian Mundell has as many extra-base hits as Davis' 14 in May.

"I've been working really hard with our hitting coach, Dan Radison, and good things are happening right now," he said. "Me and Radison have been talking about getting taller and using my back hip. Not getting so pull-happy and staying with my strength, which is hitting it to the big part of the field in right-center. In Double-A, these pitchers are pretty good, so you can't go up there trying to pull home runs or trying to do too much. You just have to look for a ball over the plate and put a good swing on it."

Early struggles can prove to be a burden on a player, but Davis was able to keep his head on straight with a little help from the people around him.

"It is a good sense of relief," the 2014 third-round pick said. "I give credit to God, my family and to my teammates. My teammates have been there from the get-go and have had my back. They saw me struggle and they kept my head up. I give credit to them big time.

"April was a struggle with the average, but I was hitting the ball hard and putting balls in play. Out of frustration, I did throw away a lot of at-bats. I wasn't really finding holes, but things are turning around. It's a big relief that I'm producing and doing things that I'm supposed to."

Alex Bregman slugged a two-run homer to right in the eighth. The dinger tied Houston's top prospect with Frisco's Ryan Cordell and Midland's Matt Chapman for the league lead with 10.

"He has a really good setup," Davis said of Bregman. "He stays short to the ball, he has a really good eye, he looks for pitches he can put a barrel on and that's the main thing in baseball. He's doing awesome right now, there's not much else you can say about him."

The Hooks tied a team record by recording their 10th straight victory.

"It was a good team win," Davis said. "It was a fun game and I'm having a lot of fun with my teammates, especially now that we're winning."

Ryan Miller went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored for the Missions.

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

View More