Where are they now?: Rajai Davis
Published: Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Updated: Friday, August 23, 2013 17:08
With the 2013 Major League Baseball season just underway, it seems fitting to check in on one former Husky who is ready to make some noise in the league right now: Rajai Davis.
A current member of the Toronto Blue Jays, the 32-year-old outfielder had made quite a few stops along the way before settling north the border.
Born in Norwich, Davis competed in both the Little and Senior League in Willimantic. He was also named to both leagues’ All-Star teams and helped those squads to capture the District 11 titles at each level.
In 1995, Davis began attending New London High School, where he was a three-sport athlete. He received letters in football, basketball and baseball. Upon graduation, Davis enrolled at UConn at Avery Point.
While at Avery Point, Davis played at second baseman. Despite the fact that he had spent only two years there and never played at Storrs, he was still drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 38th round in the 2001 MLB Draft.
Davis went on to spend six seasons in the minor leagues before getting called up to the majors. During his career in the minors, Davis had compiled a .305 batting average and a 78 percent success rate at stealing bases, along with three All-Star nods at each level.
On Aug. 14, 2006, Davis made his major league debut with the Pirates as a pinch-hitter against the Milwaukee Brewers. He got his first base hit—a pinch-hit double—off Carlos Zambrano, who was then a member of the Chicago Cubs, two weeks later. Midway through the 2007 season, Davis was traded to the San Francisco Giants in an exchange for right-hander, Matt Morris.
In the Giants organization, Davis mainly served a platoon in the outfield, often making spectacular defensive plays thanks to his speed. On Aug. 17, 2007, he hammered his first career home run off the then-Florida Marlins’ lefty Scott Olsen. Officially qualified as a rookie that year, Davis finished the season with the second-most stolen bases amongst his peers.
Davis’ stint with the Giants didn’t last long, however, as he was put on waivers in April, 2008. He did stay in the Bay Area, though, as the Oakland Athletics that claimed him. There, Davis had the most success in his career thus far. Not only was he the starting center fielder for the A’s in his two-and-a-half seasons there, but he had also put up a .305 average in 2009 and a .285 average the year after to go along with 48 and 52 stolen bases, respectively.
Following the 2010 season, Davis was shipped off to his current team, the Blue Jays, in exchange for two relievers. Unfortunately, he couldn’t follow up on his success with the A’s in Toronto, as he posted a .238 average in 95 games during the 2011 season and a .257 average in 142 games last year.