Why Jaylin Davis will be the Giants biggest surprise in 2020

SF Giants outfielder Jaylin Davis. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
SF Giants outfielder Jaylin Davis. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

Donovan Solano and Mike Yastrzemski were both pleasant surprises for the San Francisco Giants last season. Who will be the biggest surprise in 2020?

Despite the 2019 season not being a winning one for the San Francisco Giants, it still provided a number of pleasant surprises.

Chief among them were Donovan Solano and Mike Yastrzemski. No one was expecting either of them to have the years they did, but now they figure to be pretty sizable parts of the 2020 team.

So who could emerge as the biggest surprise of 2020?

I think there is a pretty good case to be made for outfielder Jaylin Davis. While he was mostly disappointing in his short stint in the majors last year, he could be primed for a breakout year in 2020.

Last season, he hit .167/.255/.238 in 42 at bats down the stretch. He hit a memorable walk-off home run in late September, but that was probably the lone memorable moment from his first MLB stint.

So why might he be prime for a breakout year?

His minor league numbers from last season suggest that he may have more potential than his small sample size in the majors reflects.

He hit .306/.397/.590 with 35 home runs and 94 RBI in 126 games between Double-A and Triple-A combined. Even without offensive production up across the upper levels of the minors, those numbers are hard to ignore.

Expecting those type of numbers in the majors may be asking too much, but they show that he can hit and hit for power.

Davis will have a chance to compete for the starting center field job this spring training. His other competition, namely Steven Duggar and Billy Hamilton, are primarily defensive and speed threats. Neither one is known for their power or ability to hit for average, so Davis may have a leg up on them if the team prioritizes offensive production.

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If Davis can put together a strong spring and earn a spot on the roster, he could be a big part of the outfield for the Giants this season. Not only that, he could surprise a lot of folks who probably aren’t expecting a whole lot from the 25-year-old rookie.