#MLBPlayers411 | Matt Davidson
Matt Davidson, today's #MLBPlayers411 subject, is demonstrating why the Chicago White Sox consider him a powerful part of their future. Hitting .261, Matt is third among all major-league rookies with 16 home runs in 2017.
The Yucaipa, Calif., native forwent a scholarship to play collegiate ball at University of Southern California when he was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the first round in 2009. He spent the next six seasons rising through the D-backs' farm system. From 2010-2013, Matt raked at the plate – hitting 78 home runs and driving in 346 RBIs. Looking to bring that power to the desert, Arizona called Matt up to the majors on August 11, 2013.
Matt stayed with the big-league club through the remainder of the 2013 season; however, a trade to the White Sox in exchange for closer Addison Reed sent him to the Windy City prior to the 2014 season.
Matt's knack for the long ball carried over to Triple-A Charlotte, where he spent the 2014-2016 seasons. His power was never a dispute, but Matt also led the International League in strikeouts both seasons.
To move up from Triple-A, Matt needed to make adjustments.
“I made some swing changes,” Matt told the Chicago Daily Herald. “Just getting in a better position, trying to get there every pitch. There were a couple of cues that I focused on. Keep it simple, and it was a daily routine, so it became ingrained. I wasn't searching for things every day.
After raising his batting average to .268, 65 points from the previous season, Matt made his White Sox debut on June 30, 2016. However, some bad luck running the bases led to a broken foot that ended his season.
Matt has been particularly hot recently, homering in five of six games from June 12-17. The only rookie in the AL with more home runs is Aaron Judge.
“Just maturing as a player,” Matt said. “Understanding my swing a little better. We made some pretty drastic swing changes two years ago, and I had a lot of time to reflect on what to improve on going into last season. I'm pretty excited to be here in the big leagues and I'm really enjoying it.”
Matt's fine-tuning has led to additional power in the White Sox lineup, something manager Rick Renteria is seeing first hand.
“He's putting together some pretty decent at-bats,” Renteria said. “I think for the most part his approach and his routine has been pretty consistent. If he gets pitches he can handle he's able to do some damage with them.”
Check out some photos of Matt here.
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