A rough two weeks to begin his Double-A debut was finally enough for Brennen Davis, who finally felt like he contributed.
"It was nice to hit something solid," Davis said of his home run. "It had been a rough start [in Double-A] so I've been diving into things with my hitting coaches. We've been looking at film and just trying to get me back to where I feel comfortable with my approach."
The 21-year-old got Tennessee's offense rolling with a solo homer to left field in the second inning, his first Double-A round tripper. He rapped a two-out RBI single in the next inning and added two more knocks to his ledger and walked to reach safely five times in a game for the second time in his career.
His four hits represented 40 percent of his total Double-A output entering the game and lifted his slash line with the Smokies to .250/.389/.386 in 44 at-bats. Davis hit safely in six of eight games with High-A South Bend and was batting .321 with a 1.013 OPS at the time of his promotion. Overall, the Chandler, Ariz., native is hitting .278/.395/.427 with three homers and seven RBIs in 21 games.
"The pitching in Double-A is definitely good," Davis said. "They throw offspeed pitches in fastball counts, spot the ball much better ... but that's all part of it. I just want to continue to refine my approach, learn and be the player I know I can be. Tonight was a nice step in that direction."
The return to South Bend was more like a pitstop for the Cubs' 2019 Minor League Player of the Year. Expecting to begin the season with Tennessee, Davis instead remained at extended spring training after he was hit in the head by a pitch. He made his season debut on May 22 with an 0-for-3 showing but followed that up by homering in consecutive games.
"I try not to ride the wave too much," Davis said about his successes and failures. "But it was definitely nice to have this type of game. It's nice to look at the game and feel as if you're back on track and contributing to the team."