OAKLAND — Logan Davidson’s arrival to Oakland marks a long way from the farm he grew up on in North Carolina.
He doesn’t know too much of the Oakland Athletics organization outside of the movie “Moneyball,” but the farm-grown shortstop and son of a Major Leaguer could be the next big piece of an Athletics infield that already carries a pair of Gold Glovers In Matt Olson and Matt Chapman.
And if he actually does have a self-proclaimed swing like a Joe Mauer or Mike Trout, he could be another big piece to the lineup like Khris Davis.
“Growing up, (my swing)’s been pretty much nothing out of the ordinary, the Mike Trout’s, guys like that, that are just fun to watch,” he said in his introductory press conference Monday, hours before the A’s series opener against the Baltimore Orioles.
He took part of the A’s pregame workouts on Monday in his new A’s uniform, stretched and took some grounders at shortstop and finally got in some swings from both sides of the plate during batting practice.
“It’s been surreal,” he said about arriving to Oakland and being at the Coliseum to sign his rookie contract with his family and girlfriend there to celebrate the occasion with him. “Honestly, it’s different than what I expected. Until I really got here and got the pen in my hand to sign (the contract) … I almost forgot how to write my name. It’s a life changing moment is what it is.”
He added that Chad Pinder was one of the first players to welcome him to the A’s. Davidson played with Pinder’s younger brother Chase at Clemson.
Davidson signed his rookie contract with the A’s last Friday, but was officially presented to the media on Monday. The 21-year-old shortstop was drafted 29th overall by the A’s in the MLB Draft and was ranked 19th in Baseball America’s Top 500 and 22nd overall in the MLB Pipeline. He’ll fly to Burlington, Vermont to play with the A’s New York Penn League affiliate, the single-A Vermont Lake Monsters, this summer.
Considering he was ranked so high, the A’s got a bit of a steal drafting Davidson towards the very end of the first round.
He hit .291 last season as a junior for the Tigers, tallying 15 home runs with 18 doubles and a pair of triples. He also grabbed 17 stolen bases in 20 attempts. He was originally drafted out of high school by the Phillies in the 30th round back in 2016, 887th overall, but decided to pass on the pros for college at the time.
Despite struggling in the Cape Cod League last summer, allegedly due to switching to wood bats, he still garnered a lot of praise from scouts.
According to MLB Pipeline’s scouting report, “If scouts were convinced that Davidson will hit with wood, he’d likely be the first college shortstop drafted in June. A switch-hitter, he has some timing issues and a swing that tends to get long, leading to strikeouts. His strength and leverage already generate plus raw power, and he should have more as he fills out his lanky 6-foot-3 frame.
“There are no holes in the rest of Davidson’s game. He produces solid to plus run times and uses his speed to steal a few bases and cover ground at shortstop. He’s tall for the position but should be able to remain there with his athleticism and strong arm.”
Baseball runs in Davidson’s family. His father, Mark, was a big league outfielder with the Minnesota Twins and Houston Astros from 1986-91. He won a World Series ring with the Twins in 1987, playing in the first and fourth game of the seven-game series off of the bench, mostly as a defensive replacement. In his six year career, the elder Davidson hit .225 with six career home runs and 57 RBI.
Davidson, a natural right-hander like his father before him, credits his father with his ability to switch hit.
“It had a huge impact,” Davidson said. “He’s played five, six years in the big leagues and we kind of knew there were difficulties trying to hit a right-on-righty slider.
“So he kind of started me off hitting from both sides of the plate at a really early age and he’s got videos of me hitting whiffleballs in the driveway from both sides.”
Davidson added that he was as young as three when he started switch hitting. He faced a lot of right-handed pitchers in his youth, making him take a majority of at-bats from the left side.
“But, throughout college, you start seeing a lot more balance,” he explained. “So, it’s been nice to get more comfortable from both sides.”
Logan Davidson could be yet another huge piece for what’s becoming a solid, strong infield for the A’s. If his bat comes around as may expect it to, he could be a star in the making in Oakland like Chapman and Olsen, that is, if his scouting report holds up. But it also failed to mention one important thing, especially in the eyes of the A’s and A’s fans – he’s not leaving for football.
Logan Davidson is here to stay.