No. 1 prospect mashes in Triple-A debut

September 15th, 2021

PHILADELPHIA -- Cubs top prospect put on a new uniform for the fourth time this season on Tuesday night -- but the results remained largely the same.

Making his Triple-A debut, the 21-year-old outfielder homered in each of his first two at-bats in Triple-A Iowa's 8-1 win over Omaha. Davis hit a solo shot on an 0-2 pitch in the second inning, then added a two-run blast on an 0-1 offering in the third. Each came off right-hander Ronald Bolaños, the Royals' No. 25 prospect.

"Success for prospects and the younger players, especially when you get to the next level, it just helps build their confidence, and I think that's super rewarding for them -- and for us," Cubs manager David Ross said. "I mean, you want the whole organization to do well, right? Happy for Brennen going up, having a little bit of success early on. That's great and I think that just proves the confidence we have in him of his ability to be a really good player."

Davis, a second-round pick in the 2018 MLB Draft, impressed at Spring Training, but he had his season delayed by approximately a month after being hit in the face by a pitch in a late-April Minor League Spring Training game.

Davis wasted no time picking up where he left off upon his return, hitting .321 with a 1.013 OPS in eight games with High-A South Bend before quickly making the leap to Double-A Tennessee. He continued to hit the ball well with the Smokies, posting a .252/.367/.474 slash line (.841 OPS) with 13 homers, 20 doubles and six stolen bases over 76 games.

Along with South Bend, Tennessee and Iowa, the fourth uniform worn by Davis this season was a National League jersey at the 2021 All-Star Futures Game. As he's done at every other stop this season, Davis shined on the national stage, clubbing a pair of homers to earn Most Valuable Player honors in the NL's 8-3 victory over the AL. The No. 14 overall prospect, according to MLB Pipeline, joined Alfonso Soriano (1999) and Yusniel Diaz (2018) as the only players to homer twice in a Futures Game.

"Watching him kind of take the strides he took this year, watching him in Spring Training, and then obviously the Futures Game -- a big moment, kind of getting some confidence from that and taking off," Ross said. "Continuing to move up in a year like this year, it's super special for him and I'm happy for him. As an organization, it's nice to start to see the work at the Minor League level work its way up toward the big league level, for sure."

The Cubs have certainly seen that paying off in recent weeks after trading away veterans like Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant and Javier Báez at the Trade Deadline.

Patrick Wisdom, who began the year in Triple-A, matched Bryant's franchise rookie home run record with his 26th of the season in Tuesday's win over the Phillies. Rafael Ortega and Frank Schwindel are among the others to spend time with Iowa this season before making an impact at the big league level.

Of course, each of those players took an entirely different path to the Cubs than the one Davis is currently on. Unlike those guys, Davis is a highly touted homegrown prospect. One thing they all have in common, however, is that they plan to spend the next two and a half weeks showcasing their talent with an eye on cracking Chicago's 2022 roster.

Though it's only one game, the Cubs couldn't have asked for much more out of Davis in his Triple-A debut.

"The hardest part about this game is being consistent and doing it for a long period of time," Ross said. "We'll see how he handles it. I think we all have high hopes for him. He's definitely a quality human being with a lot of talent."