SF Giants prospects: Midseason 2021 rankings
24. Jaylin Davis, OF
Highest Level: MLB (SF)
Acquired: Trade (2019)
Future-Value Grade: 40+
There may not be a more unproven 27-year old prospect with more upside than outfielder Jaylin Davis. Davis has always been a great athlete with potential plus power, but questions about his hit tool kept him off the top prospect radar before a swing change in 2019 sparked an incredible season.
Over 126 games in the minors in 2019, Davis slugged 36 home runs and posted a .306/.397/.590 line. He hammered 10 home runs in 27 games after he was acquired by the SF Giants at the 2019 MLB trade deadline and he received a late-season callup. While his season was cut short after getting hit on the hand, Davis recorded a sprint speed in the 97th percentile of all players, according to Baseball Savant.
Injuries have stalled Davis at various points throughout his career. His draft stock dipped after he injured his non-throwing shoulder in his final season at Appalachian State. He’s dealt with various knee injuries over the past two years and was recently placed on the 7-day IL after he was hit on the head by a pitch. As the Giants have continued finding productive big-league outfielders, Davis has been buried further and further on their depth chart. It’s important to note, though, that they have also kept him on their 40-man roster despite Zaidi’s tendency to churn the edges of the roster.
Davis is an above-average defender at all three outfield spots with plus range and an average arm. He has called centerfield his best defensive position, but the Giants have deployed him primarily in right. Still, even if his knee injuries have cost him some of his speed, he should be at least average defensively in all three spots.
At the plate, Davis consistently hits the ball hard and has a solid approach. However, his strikeouts have jumped as he’s prioritized elevating the ball. In 35 games at Triple-A in 2021, Davis has hit .246/.340/.557 with 11 home runs and a 32.1% strikeout rate.
Davis may ultimately be a Quad-A outfielder unable to tap into his hit tool enough to make an impact at the MLB level. However, he’s yet to receive an extended opportunity in the majors. In 103 career games at Triple-A, Davis has hit .303/.386/.658 with 36 home runs. That line will get him an opportunity somewhere even if the Giants eventually decide to move on.