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SF Giants: New position for slugging outfield prospect?

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JULY 25: Jaylin Davis #49 of the SF Giants warms up in between innings against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on July 25, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. The 2020 season had been postponed since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JULY 25: Jaylin Davis #49 of the SF Giants warms up in between innings against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on July 25, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. The 2020 season had been postponed since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)
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SF Giants, Jaylin Davis
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – JULY 25: Jaylin Davis #49 of the San Francisco Giants warms up in between innings against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on July 25, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. The 2020 season had been postponed since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

SF Giants slugging prospect Jaylin Davis has played exclusively in the outfield since becoming a pro in 2016. However, the Giants are considering adding a new position to his résumé:

SF Giants: New position for Jaylin Davis?

Davis was seen taking ground balls at first base before Friday night’s game, which is new territory for the right-handed bat. Given that he has the speed and athleticism to handle all three outfield positions, learning first base should not be a steep learning curve.

The Giants originally acquired the former 24th round pick along with Prelander Berrora and Kai-Wei Tang in a trade that sent reliever Sam Dyson to the Minnesota Twins in 2019. Immediately following the trade, Davis went on a tear in Triple-A resulting in a promotion to the major league club by September of that season.

The outfield prospect struggled in his first stint with the Giants, slashing .167/.255/.238 with one home run, three RBI, and two runs scored in 47 plate appearances. However, the one home run he did hit was a booming, walk-off homer against the Colorado Rockies to secure a 2-1 victory.

When Giants fans first saw Davis, many had expectations that he would become an everyday contributor. Though, that has not been the case at all as he has battled injuries and inconsistent swing mechanics leading to concerning contact issues. Davis has accumulated 68 plate appearances in three seasons with the Giants, and he has struck out 18 times or in 26.5 percent of his plate appearances.

Despite this, Davis has continued to produce in the minors in such a way that the Giants believe in his upside. For example, he has posted a .961 OPS with 11 home runs, 32 RBI, and 28 runs scored in 136 plate appearances with the Sacramento River Cats in 2021.

He has missed considerable time as well as he battled knee tendinitis earlier in the year. That said, a move to first base could help his durability and keep him on the field more often. Plus, it gives him another way to get his bat in the lineup.

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The SF Giants have often challenged some of their top prospects with trying out new positions and they seem to be doing the same with Jaylin Davis. The outfield prospect has not yet played a pro game at first base, but he is beginning to get the work in to play there down the stretch. Hopefully, this leads to another chance for the power-hitting prospect to put on a Giants uniform again in 2021.

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