Late in spring training, Chicago Cubs outfielder Brennen Davis was optioned to Triple-A Iowa, with his sights still set on making his Major League debut sometime during the 2023 season. Davis is the Cubs’ No. 3 prospect and No. 92 overall prospect according to MLB Pipeline. He saw a huge drop in his overall MLB Pipeline ranking after being ranked in the top 50 all of last season, and he almost dropped out of the top 100 as a whole.
Davis, who’s been highlighted as a top Cubs prospect for the better part of the last four seasons, has been dubbed a top outfielder who has what scouts call ‘unlimited potential’. But he’ll have to prove he’s ready for the big leagues by showing out at Iowa.
Prior to being optioned, Davis told reporters this about his intentions to work hard to be a part of the Cubs 26-man roster this season.
“I’m out here to compete and give them a tough choice to make at the end of the spring. That’s all I can do. And I know when my time is called, I’m going to be ready — whether that’s now or in a month or two months or whatever. I’m going to do whatever I can to be the best version of myself.”
While that will have to wait for a bit, Davis has all the talent to make it happen this season, and just needs to find that consistency that’s evaded him for so long.
Why Did Davis Drop Out of the Top 50?
An injury-riddled 2022 season played a huge role in Davis’s drop from top-50 prospect to barely staying in the rankings at 92. Unfortunately, injuries and not staying healthy have been the main reasons for Davis still being in the minors. A back injury last season cost Davis one of the most important of his career. Even his mother understood the importance of completely recovering and told him to not touch a bat.
“She was like, ‘You better not swing that bat,” Davis told reporters in September 2022.
That’s how serious his injury was – his mom had to step in and make sure he didn’t break his recovery regimen to put himself in position to be back by 2023 spring training.
Davis began 2022 hitting a paltry .195 with 31 strikeouts in his first 22 games, but no one knew he was dealing with a bad back. The cold weather in Iowa also made Davis believe that was why his back was giving him so much trouble. Never one to complain or not play through pain, Davis tried to tough it out until it became too much.
“I always thought there was a difference between being injured and hurt,” Davis said. “I wasn’t going to let a little thing [like pain] derail my plans for the year…”
“When my time is called, I’m going to be ready.”
The pain in Brennen’s back was anything but minor as it caused numbness in his hamstring and calf, and even caused a burning sensation behind his ankle, Davis mentioned. That is why Davis dropped so far on MLB Pipeline, he wasn’t available to play and when he did, he wasn’t very good.
Why The High Hopes For Davis?
The 22-year-old outfielder was a second-round pick in 2018. During his breakthrough 2021 season, Davis went yard twice in the All-Star Futures Game, putting his unlimited talent on full display. For his efforts he was named MVP of the game, bringing even more credibility as to why the Cubs were so high on him. That got him promoted to Triple-A Iowa for the 2022 season, and that’s where the back injury stunted his development, and MLB arrival, which was primed to happen this past Opening Day.
The former Cubs Minor League Player of the Year is poised to make his presence felt at Wrigley Stadium, and when he does, he won’t be going back. A September call-up seems like the ideal situation for Davis this season.