Davis undergoes back surgery

Keeping tabs on the Cubs' No. 1 prospect

June 4th, 2022

May 23: Davis undergoes back surgery
Brennen Davis underwent back surgery on Thursday in Los Angeles, sources told MLB.com.

One month after being shelved due to what was initially described as lower-back tightness, Davis underwent a procedure after persistent discomfort and that led to the discovery of a vascular malformation (a nest of blood vessels) that pushed against a nerve. The positive news was that no structural damage was found in Davis' back and the highly-touted outfielder is expected to make a full recovery. At this early stage, Davis' timeline for return is to be determined, making it unclear whether a comeback this season is realistic. More »

May 23: Davis rehabbing in Arizona
Outfielder Brennen Davis is currently in Arizona working through a rehab process from a back issue that sent him to the Minor League injured list. There is no firm timetable for his return, at least not publicly, but the Cubs plan on making sure their consensus No. 1 prospect is fully recovered before he does take the field again.

“He'll be fine,” Cubs president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer said. “I think he's going to come back and be really strong. This might be a good challenge for him to have to overcome. Certainly, not what anyone expected, given the work in the winter and what he did in Iowa last year, but that's baseball.”

The injury may help explain Davis’ .195/.286/.299 slash line through 22 games with Triple-A Iowa this season. Last year, following a standout showing at Double-A and an MVP-winning performance in the All-Star Futures Game, Davis had a .933 OPS in 16 games with Iowa.

May 12: Placed on Minor League IL
The Cubs' top prospect, who hasn't played since May 3, is dealing with a back issue, according to a source. In 22 games with Triple-A Iowa, Davis is hitting .195/.286/.299 with two homers and seven RBIs. Davis' timetable for a return is currently TBD.

May 6: Held out of lineup
Lower back tightness kept Davis out of the starting lineup for the third straight game. He is day-to-day.

May 3: Drives in run in win
Brennen Davis recorded yet another RBI on Tuesday, driving in one on a sac fly in Triple-A Iowa's win over St. Paul. Overall, he went 0-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout at the plate. Gameday »

April 30: Drives in run in loss
It wasn't a huge game for Brennen Davis but a promising one as the 22-year-old outfielder drove in a run in a 1-for-4 performance. He now has six RBIs on the year, but it wasn't enough for Triple-A Iowa, as the Cubs fell to Indianapolis, 4-3. Gameday »

April 29: Davis scores only Cubs run
Brennen Davis scored the only run of Triple-A Iowa's 8-1 loss to Indianapolis on Friday. He went 1-for-4 with a single overall, extending his cold streak of late. He is now 2-for-18 over his last five games. Gameday »

April 28: Notches hit in quiet night
Brennen Davis once again had a quiet night at the plate for Triple-A Iowa, but he got in the hit column in a 1-for-3 night. In his past three games, he went 0-for-11, so seeing one drop must have been a relief. Gameday »

April 27: Another tough day for Davis
After striking out three times on Tuesday, Davis couldn't get it going on Wednesday either, as he went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts. He's stumbled out of the gates for Triple-A Iowa, hitting .183 with 25 strikeouts in 17 games. Gameday »

April 26: Strikes out three times
Brennen Davis struggled at the plate for the second game in a row on Tuesday, as he went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts batting out of the cleanup spot for Triple-A Iowa. His batting average dropped to .193 on the year. He was far from alone — Triple-A Iowa had just one hit in their 4-0 loss to Indianapolis. Davis will look to get back in the hit column Wednesday. Gameday »

April 22: Strikes out twice in hitless night
It was a forgettable night at the plate for Brennen Davis on Friday, as he went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts batting out of the cleanup spot for Triple-A Iowa. He is now batting .208 on the year. Gameday »

April 21: Drives in run in quiet night
Brennen Davis had a more modest night at the plate on Thursday, going 1-for-4 with a sacrifice fly and two strikeouts for Triple-A Iowa. He is now hitting .224 on the year with five runs driven in. Gameday »

April 20: Davis heating up
Brennen Davis continued his climb out of an early season slump on Wednesday. Davis went 1-for-3 single, walk and two runs scored during Triple-A Iowa's 3-2 loss to Louisville. The 22-year-old outfielder is hitting .285 with hits in eight of his last nine games since starting the season 0-for-10. Gameday »

April 19: Homers, singles in Cubs win
Brennen Davis crushed his second home run of the year over the right field fence during the Iowa Cubs' 7-2 win over the Louisville Bats on Tuesday. Davis also added a single up-the-middle during his first at-bat in the first inning. The 22-year-old outfielder is starting to pick it up with the bat, slashing .281/.406/.531 since his 0-for-10 start to the season. Gameday »

April 16: Doubles in extra-inning win
Brennen Davis might be off to a slow start at the plate, but he showed some promise that he's turning things around on Saturday, swatting his third double of the season. He also contributed in the 10th inning of the ballgame, advancing the soon-to-be winning run to third base on a flyout. Overall, Davis went 1-for-5 with a strikeout on the day. Gameday »

April 15: Davis struggles Friday
After a day off Thursday, Davis returned to the lineup Friday versus the Toledo Mud Hens. It wasn't the No. 15 prospect in baseball's night at the plate, going 0-for-4 in Iowa's 5-1 win. Davis is now 1-for-9 in his previous two games. Gameday »

April 14: Davis comes back to Earth
It was a long night at the plate for Brennen Davis. The No. 15 prospect in baseball went 1-for-5 in Triple-A Iowa's 8-6 loss to Toledo on Thursday. Davis struck out in three of his first four at-bats before singling in the ninth inning. The 22-year-old center fielder had gone 5-for-12 in his previous three games before Thursday. Gameday »

April 13: Davis swats RBI double, scores winning run in 9th-inning rally
It's a good time to be Brennen Davis right now. The No. 15 prospect in baseball was a key cog in Triple-A Iowa's comeback win over Toledo on Wednesday, as Davis hit an RBI double in the bottom of the ninth to spark a three-run rally. He later came around to score the game-winning run, as the Cubs took down the Mud Hens 3-2. Davis went 2-for-4 on the night, recording his third RBI in four games. He is now 5-for-12 since starting the season 0-for-11. Gameday »

April 12: Davis has RBI single, couple of walks in win
Brennen Davis went 1-for-3 with an RBI single in the fourth inning during the Iowa Cubs' win over the Toledo Mud Hens in the series opener. Davis added a pair of walks as well. The 22-year-old center fielder is off to a poor start with the bat (.158 AVG), but he's shown solid patience at the plate with seven walks in seven games so far — a possible sign of good things to come.

April 10: Davis follows up first HR with a single, walk Sunday
After crushing his first home run of the Triple-A season Saturday, Brennen Davis followed up with a solid 1-for-3 night including a single and a walk on Sunday. The Cubs' top prospect ran into some trouble on the base paths in the fourth inning when he was caught stealing second by the Buffalo Bisons catcher. After a day off Monday, Davis will return to action at home against the Toledo Mud Hens on Tuesday evening.

April 9: Goodbye, baseball. Goodbye, hitless streak.
Brennen Davis broke open a chilly start to the Triple-A season with a fourth-inning home run for the Iowa Cubs. The Cubs' top prospect was in an 0-for-11 rut after striking out in the first, but he hammered a 2-2 offering from No. 15 Blue Jays prospect Bowden Francis over the wall in the left-center gap. Davis walked in his next plate appearance.

April 8: Davis’ slow start continues
Iowa Cub Brennen Davis, the No. 15 prospect in baseball per MLB Pipeline, appeared in both halves of a doubleheader against the Double-A Buffalo Bisons on Friday. After going 0-for-2 with a walk and a strikeout in the first game, he grounded into a fielder’s choice in a pinch-hit at-bat during the nightcap. Chicago’s top prospect remains hitless on the season. But the Cubs shouldn’t be too concerned about Davis’ slow start — the 22-year-old posted a solid .933 OPS in 68 plate appearances at Triple-A Iowa in 2021.

March 22: Davis still the Cubs' top prospect
The Cubs famously ended their 108-year World Series championship drought in 2016 and seemed primed for multiple titles with a nucleus of young position players. But they haven't won't a playoff game since bowing out of the 2017 National League Championship Series and most of that core is gone now.

Since the end of the 2020 season, Chicago has remade its big league roster and its farm system with a series of trades. It has dealt Yu Darvish, Joc Pederson, Andrew Chafin, Ryan Tepera, Anthony Rizzo, Javier Báez, Craig Kimbrel, Jake Marisnick and Kris Bryant and acquired 14 prospects in those moves, including seven members of MLB Pipeline's new Cubs Top 30.

Seven of their eight best prospects have joined the organization in the last 16 months, but the No. 1 prospect -- Brennen Davis -- remains the same. Full story »

March 21: Davis day-to-day after HBP
Cubs No. 1 prospect Brennen Davis, who left Monday's game against the Reds after being hit on the right knee by a pitch from Reds righty Graham Ashcraft, remains day-to-day. X-rays on the outfielder's knee were negative, Cubs manager David Ross said.

The manager added that Davis is less sore than he expected to be one day after being hit by the pitch.

In the second inning, Davis was struck on the inside of the knee by a pitch and crouched in discomfort after taking a few steps out of the batter's box. It’s uncertain when he will return to action.

Davis hit .260/.375/.494 with 19 homers, 25 doubles and 53 RBIs in 99 games across three levels in 2021. The outfielder posted an .841 OPS in 76 games at Double-A Tennessee and then a .933 OPS in 15 games at Triple-A Iowa. He was also named the All-Star Futures Game MVP last year after belting two home runs in the annual prospect showcase. -- Jesse Sanchez

March 19: Davis launches a three-run homer
Davis quickly rose up the Top 100 prospects list last season due to his prodigious power and displayed his top tool during Saturday’s matchup against the Padres. Starting in right field, Davis launched an opposite-field, three-run blast in the fourth inning on the first pitch of his at-bat. The 22-year-old launched 19 home runs and tallied 25 doubles in 99 games last season and was named the All-Star Futures Game MVP for his two-homer performance at Coors Field.

March 16: Davis the No. 3 outfield prospect in baseball
This list is loaded with talent and doesn’t have a ton of players who snuck up on evaluators. Both international prospects received seven-figure bonuses and of the eight players who were drafted, six were first-round picks. The other two -- Davis and Thomas -- were second-round selections. Davis was the 62nd overall pick in the 2018 Draft and signed for $1.1 million, but his career has been a bit rocky to date. When he’s been on the field, he’s performed. However, he lost time in 2019 to right index finger injuries and suffered a concussion and a broken nose in the lost 2020 season. The 99 games he played in 2021 were a career high and a healthy 2022 campaign would go a long way to helping him reach his ceiling. Full story »