Davidson fans 9 in scoreless outing for Gwinnett

June 23rd, 2022

Bouncing between the Major Leagues and Triple-A isn’t an easy task, but Tucker Davidson is continuing to show that he has little left to prove in the International League.

The Braves’ seventh-ranked prospect turned in a stellar outing for Gwinnett on Wednesday, striking out nine over 6 2/3 scoreless innings in the Stripers’ 7-2 win over the Nashville Sounds.

“I definitely feel like my offspeed pitches were there, curveball and slider,” Davidson said. “Felt like I had good command of the strike zone, and just kept my foot on the gas pedal all night.”

Those breaking pitches were the putaway offerings du jour for the southpaw, whose first eight strikeouts came on the slider (five) or curve (three). Relying on those pitches, Davidson was in control, something that eluded him in his last outing, when he walked a season-high five. He did not issue a free pass this time around.

“A lot of it is the mental approach, not giving in and picking your spots,” Davidson said. “It’s just going out and attacking, limiting the three-ball counts and whenever you get the opportunity to put away guys you can. That was more of the emphasis, ‘Let’s get ahead [in the count] early, and when we have a chance to put them away late, let’s do it.’”

While the Major League club breaks off an incredible month of June, its Triple-A squad could be offering some more depth in the form of top 10 prospects.

Take Wednesday night, for example. While Davidson dominated on the mound, No. 2 prospect Drew Waters and No. 5 prospect Braden Shewmake belted homers to power the Stripers offense.

Shewmake, back in the lineup after the birth of his son, extended his hitting streak to six games and boosted his batting average in June to .275. Waters recorded his second three-hit game over the last five days, boosting his average over 20 points to .265.

“They’re tremendous defenders as well,” Davidson made sure to note. “The confidence knowing they’re out there at shortstop or in center field, that a ball hit to them is probably going to be caught or thrown across the diamond, they’ve been a huge help for me.”

After making his Major League debut in 2020, Davidson has been shuttled back and forth between Atlanta and Gwinnett eight times since the start of 2021. While that could easily knock a player off his rhythm, Davidson was excellent in two out of his three starts during his most recent MLB stint and has a 3.08 ERA in four starts since going back down to the Stripers.

“Control what you can control,” says Davidson on his keys to remaining consistent. “There’s only so much you can do at Triple-A to get you back up to the Majors. It’s one of those things where you just have to get better each day because regardless if you’re in the Majors or Triple-A you’re still competing for the same thing, trying to do the same thing every fifth day.”