Last year the Chicago Cubs closed the chapter on the core of their 2016 World Series-winning roster. By parting ways with Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez, and Kris Bryant, the Cubs signaled an immediate shift towards the future of the franchise. Thus far in 2022 Chicago fans have already seen promising developments from new outfielder Seiya Suzuki, but the team’s next true building block is MLBbro Brennen Davis.
The Chicago Cubs selected Brennen Davis in the second round of the 2018 MLB Draft. Throughout his minor league career, he has risen through the ranks and currently sits as the 15th ranked prospect in the MLB top 100 Prospect List. He has batted .272 and shown flashes of Gold Glove capability in Center Field. Davis’s pre-Covid hitting statistics in 2018 and 2019, .298 and .305 respectively, were more indicative of what the Cubs and their fans expected when drafting him.
Forced to sit out in 2020, due to the Minor League cancellation resulting from the pandemic, Davis has yet to post similar statistics last year and during the early part of this season. Still, Davis has shown flashes of brilliance and has an element of star caliber that simply cannot be ignored. In the 2021 MLB Futures game, Davis was awarded the MVP award for his two moonshot home runs. With raw natural power and blazing speed, he can instantly bring 30/30 capability to the Cubs lineup.
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Fast Track to Stardom
The 2022 season has gotten off to a rocky start for the Chicago Cubs. This season was always intended to provide an outlook into their immediate future. The sooner MLBbro Brennen Davis gets the call-up, the sooner his ascension can begin. MLBbro Jayson Heyward, who has been a stalwart in the organization since joining the team before the 2015 season, has been playing well in his 13th season. That being said, it would be more beneficial to the Cubs to remove him from the lineup for the young upstart Davis. This move should come sooner rather than later.
The Cubs would be providing the young star valuable experience, which he could use to overcome any growing pains alongside potential long term outfield teammate Suzuki. Although a quick glance at Davis’s slash line (.208/.307/.359) with the Cubs Triple-A affiliate, the Iowa Cubs, leaves much to be desired, the organization has enough evidence to give him a call-up in a transitional year.
Long Term Goals
Brennen Davis has expressed his desire to be in the Majors, and the Cubs understand they cannot keep his talent in the minors forever. A realistic expectation for Davis’s arrival seems like a September call up at the latest. But there is room for this to change.
A team with a need for a defensive upgrade in the outfield, or a veteran left-handed batter could be interested in Jayson Heyward, which could free up playing time for the Cubs top rate prospect. In the meantime, Davis should continue honing his skills in Iowa, and decrease his strikeout ratio, one of his biggest concerns in the early season. If all things fall into play Brennen Davis could be getting his call to the show before you know it.
Minor League Baseball has announced the launch of “The Nine,” a new, Black-community focused outreach platform specifically designed to honor and celebrate the historic impact numerous Black baseball pioneers made on the sport, provide new opportunities for youth baseball and softball participation, further diversify the business of baseball, and embrace millions of passionate fans throughout MiLB’s 120 communities nationwide.
Named for the number Jackie Robinson wore during his only season playing in MiLB with the Triple-A Montreal Royals in 1946, The Nine will connect MiLB teams’ existing, Black-community focused development efforts with new national programming and future special events in a coordinated and centralized campaign.
The new inclusion initiative follows MiLB’s Copa de la Diversión — the Latino fan engagement platform introduced in 2017 that included 76 MiLB teams in 2021.
The Nine will recognize and honor numerous Black pioneers and trailblazing civil rights leaders in all 120 MiLB communities, ensuring the heroes of the past and their contributions continue to be celebrated through ceremonies and events at MiLB ballparks and in the community.
Recent tributes and celebrations have included Negro Leagues commemorative games honoring the Austin Black Senators in Round Rock (TX), the Bradenton (FL) Nine Devils, and Page Fence Giants near Lansing (MI). Additional tribute games are being planned for the 2022 season and beyond.
“The Nine will shine bright spotlights on these successful initiatives and transform them into national campaigns reaching more fans and communities, further showcasing our teams’ commitment to representing, honoring, and welcoming all fans to MiLB’s unique brand of fun,” said Kurt Hunzeker, MLB’s Vice President of Minor League Business Operations. “The Nine is just the latest example of MiLB teams being true community champions.”
In addition to player- and team-related content, The Nine will focus heavily on creating new opportunities for youth participation among young Black boys and girls, particularly in communities where youth baseball and softball programming is either nonexistent or difficult to access.
Central to this youth-focused push is a planned expansion of Major League Baseball’s Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) Program throughout MiLB’s national footprint. New competitions in MLB’s Pitch, Hit & Run and Junior Home Run Derby event series will also debut in MiLB markets beginning in 2022.
MiLB teams will continue to build relationships with local Black-owned and operated businesses, local artists and entertainers in an effort to embrace Black culture and make MiLB ballparks a hub for culturally relevant concerts, shows, and community events.
With several MiLB teams having a Historically Black College or University (HBCU) in their community, opportunities will be provided for those schools to start internship and mentorship programs with their local team, creating opportunities for on-the-job experience for students prior to entering the job market. Additionally, MiLB recently partnered with TeamWork Online to create a more inclusive virtual job fair and ongoing talent pipeline that aims to recruit and position qualified and ready-for-hire candidates from across the country for potential management- and executive-level roles within MiLB team front offices.