Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Oriole # 899- Blake Davis
Blake Davis made his Orioles (& MLB) debut today, playing second base and batting eighth. To say that it didn't go well is an understatement; he went 0-4 at the plate and his fifth inning error on a routine ground ball allowed the tying and go-ahead runs to score in what proved to be an insurmountable deficit in the 5-4 Pirates win. In all fairness, second base is an unfamiliar position for Blake; he's only played there in 19 of his 493 career games in the Minors. His primary position is shortstop, although, to increase his versatility, he has almost exclusively played the outfield for the AAA Norfolk Tides this season.
The Orioles drafted Blake in the 4th round of the 2006 draft out of Cal State Fullerton. He has steadily climbed through the O's farm system and has spent the majority of the past three seasons with the Tides. Since I don't make it to Norfolk often, the most I've seen him play was in 2008 during his time with the AA Bowie Baysox, but also caught his appearance with the short season Aberdeen Ironbirds in 2009 on a rehab assignment.
I have a few different autographs of his in my collection and haven't decided which to place in my collection. He doesn't have an Orioles card, and his only mass-produced card was in the 2005-06 USA Baseball National Team set, so that doesn't factor into my decision.
Blake was invited to Spring Training with the O's in 2009 & '10, but didn't receive an invitation this year, which seems to show that his organizational stock has slipped. Blake was fairly highly regarded in 2009 but suffered a stress fracture in his foot halfway through the Spring and never has been able to regain his prospect status since the injury. Personally, I was shocked that Blake was called up ahead of Nick Green and Brendan Harris, two veterans on the Tides' roster who both have MLB experience.
The good news for Blake is that, assuming he stays with the team, things can only get better after today. Good luck Blake, tomorrow is another day.