In some of the recent trade speculation involving D’backs outfielders, names of third baseman from other teams have been mentioned as possible new additions to the Diamondbacks roster. With Chris Johnson, Eric Chavez, Willie Bloomquist and Eric Hinske all capable of playing third base, it wouldn’t seem that Arizona would need a third baseman as part of a trade.
One name that is left out of that mix is the man who many consider the third baseman of the future for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Matt Davidson. Davidson currently plies his trade with the Class AA Mobile BayBears of the Southern League. Davidson was recently rated as the #4 prospect in the entire Diamondbacks farm system and the #97 rated prospect in all of the minor leagues by Baseball America.
The 21-year-old Davidson is in his fourth season in the minor leagues. Last season for Mobile, he hit .261 with 23 home runs and 76 RBI’s in 135 games. The year before, the 6’2, 235 lbs. third baseman was in Class A Visalia where he hit .277 with 20 home runs and 106 RBI’s in 135 games.
This fall, Davidson was invited along with other top prospects to play in the Arizona Fall League with the Salt River Rafters. He has worked very closely with former D’backs third baseman Matt Williams, who happens to manage the Rafters, to improve his defense at the hot corner. Both Williams and former Arizona shortstop Jay Bell have been very complimentary of Davidson, citing his work ethic and his tremendous power potential as reasons why the D’backs should feel very pleased with how the future stacks up.
Williams feels that Davidson will need to gain some more mobility to stay at third, but that it is entirely possible that Davidson could find himself in the big leagues soon if he continues to progress. During the Fall League, Davidson is hitting .200 with two home runs and six RBI’s in 40 at-bats so far. But, Williams is more impressed with the maturity that he has shown when faced with adversity.
“He might be more of a natural first baseman because of his size, but he has worked very hard to become a good third baseman. There is a need in the organization,” Williams told MLB.com earlier this fall.
If the D’backs feel that none of the current players on the roster can get the job done at third base, they could give Davidson a shot at competing for the job in Spring Training. But, it is way more likely that Davidson will continue his career at Class AA Mobile or Class AAA Reno this season. He is young and needs more seasoning in professional baseball before being exposed full-time to the big league atmosphere.
If he continues to improve his defense and cuts down on his strikeouts, you could see Davidson in Arizona next season. But, patience is a virtue and Davidson will use this extra time to iron out the wrinkles in his game so that when he does arrive, he is fully ready to contribute to the major league club.