In a perfect world, Brennen Davis would have been patrolling the outfield at Wrigley Field for the majority of 2022. Instead, he spent it recovering from back surgery in May at the Cubs’ Spring Training complex and getting up to speed at various Minor League affiliates.
Davis is continuing to make up for lost time, and finding more success in doing so, at the Arizona Fall League. He blasted his second homer and was on base three times in Mesa’s 12-11 win over Peoria on Saturday, raising his OPS through four games to 1.106.
"I know I'm a good hitter and I knew I was going to come around," Davis said. "It's nice to be able to have some production and help the team win."
The 22-year-old hit safely in all five games he played in the Fall League's first week. Davis homered in Monday's opener and again on Saturday, one of five long balls in a slugfest. His homer was a no-doubt shot to left off Nationals southpaw Lucas Knowles. Davis was also hit by a pitch and singled.
"I'm just extremely happy and blessed to be playing right now," Davis said. "The first diagnosis was that I'd probably be done for the year, and get ready for Spring Training 2023, so any at-bats that I can get right now are just a bonus."
Other bonuses? Being around familiar faces and playing his home games at the Cubs' complex in Mesa.
First baseman Matt Mervis, who finished three off the Minor League lead with 36 home runs during the regular season, connected on his first of the Fall League in the first inning for the Solar Sox.
"You mispronounced his name -- it's actually Mash Mervis," Davis said when asked about the Cubs' No. 21 prospect. "But he's awesome. He had an incredible year and I'm really happy to continue playing with him. I think we have long futures ahead of us."
One of Mesa's hitting coaches is former Major Leaguer Eric Patterson, who served as an instructor with the ACL Cubs during the regular season. Davis and Patterson worked closely during the outfielder's rehab over the summer and have been able to continue the instruction this month.
"I love Eric, he's the man," Davis said. "It's different being around so many different organizations, but it's really comforting having a guy who you've talked baseball with before and knows what gets you ready for each day. It's been a pleasure."
Another highly touted Cubs prospect, 10th-ranked Owen Caissie, doubled for Mesa. Rays infielder Ronny Simon added a grand slam, the first for any player in the Fall League. A pair of Mets outfield prospects, Stanley Consuegra (No. 23) and Brandon McIlwain, hit home runs for Peoria. Padres shortstop Jackson Merrill, MLB's No. 83 prospect, went 2-for-4 with three RBIs.