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Sunday, December 25, 2022

Russ Davis dreamed about playing in big leagues; Made it over eight seasons, with three teams

By 1994, Yankees minor leaguer Russ Davis had moved to among the Yankees organization's top prospects - both blocked in his chosen position and sought after by other teams, The Hartford Courant wrote.

But the Yankees wanted to stick with him and Davis was just fine with that, The Courant wrote.

"I think about making this team every day," Davis told The Courant. "I grew up dreaming about playing in the big leagues. I'm from a small town. When I tell everyone I'm playing for the Yankees, they all say, 'Wow,' because everyone tings the Yankees are just great."

Davis made his debut with the Yankees that year and returned the next. After the Yankees finally let him go in the Tino Martinez trade, Davis ultimately saw time in eight big league campaigns, including regular time in Seattle.

Davis' career began in 1988, taken by the Yankees in the 29th round of the draft out of Shelton State Community College in Alabama.

Davis started in the rookie Gulf Coast League. He made single-A Fort Lauderdale and short-season Oneonta in 1989, and high-A Prince William in 1990.

He made AA Albany-Colonie in 1991 and returned there in 1992. He hit .285 his second year there, with 16 home runs.

Davis then saw AAA Columbus in 1993 and 1994 and debuted in the Bronx in July  1994. He saw four games and went 2 for 14.

Davis played in 40 more games for the Yankees, then moved to the Mariners for 1996 in the Martinez deal. He saw 51 games with the Mariners in 1996 and hit .234.

Starting 1997, though, there seemed to be extra pressure for Davis to perform, The Spokane Spokesman-Review wrote.

"In general, we're pleased," manager Lou Piniella told The Spokesman-Review of Davis. "He's played very well defensively. His hitting has been inconsistent, some good days and not-so-good days. Not playing much the last couple years has hurt him some, but for the most part, we're going to let him play as often as we can."

Davis saw 119 games that year and hit .271, with 20 home runs. He hit another 20 home runs in 1998, over 141 games, but his average dropped to .259. 

But Davis also committed a bunch of errors in 1998, a league-worst 34, The Kitsap Sun wrote.

"I don't think mechanically there's a whole lot wrong with what I do out there," an optimistic Davis told The Sun at the start of 1999. "My feet move around good. My hands are in good position. I think the main thing for me is just to stay focused. My concentration should be there for every pitch."

Davis hit 21 home runs in 1999 in 124 games, with a .245 average and 12 errors.

He then moved to the Giants for 2000. He saw 80 games and hit .261. He then saw 53 final games in 2001 and hit .257 to end his career.

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:4,095
Made the Majors:1,357-33.1%-X
Never Made Majors:2,738-66.9%
5+ Seasons in the Majors:553-X
10+ Seasons in the Minors:335

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