“92 miles even if you just throw it.” NC Davidson’s career like this… Stanton struck out and was offered a double-base hit by the Dodgers manager

January 12, 2024 | by

His career as pitcher and batter, competition with former foreign hitter for home run king, and colleague Eric Thames. Matt Davidson, a new foreign hitter with the NC Dinos, said, “My Major League career wasn’t that impressive, but there are many interesting episodes.

When he signed a minor contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers, he was confident enough to express his desire to challenge as a pitcher in front of manager Dave Roberts. He competed with Jason Martin, who played for the NC Dinosaurs last year, in the same league and ended the season tying for first. Then, Thames was on the same team.

NC announced on Wednesday afternoon that it signed a one-million-dollar contract with Davidson consisting of 140,000 U.S. dollars in down payment, 560,000 dollars in annual salary and 300,000 dollars in incentives. According to manager Kang In-kwon, Davidson has been constantly seeking to recruit players over the past few years. He has recorded a total of 54 home runs in the Major League and 19 in Japan.

Davidson said through his club, “I am honored to join the NC Dinos. I want to meet the passionate fans of the NC Dinos as soon as possible. I will use all my energy to win the game. I want to finish the season with a smile with plays that will help the team.”

I’ve prepared a combination of pitching and hitting. Seriously

Davidson dreamed of becoming a pitcher and batter for a while. In fact, he once took the mound in a Major League game. As a member of the Chicago White Sox in 2018, he allowed one hit in three innings, and as a member of the Cincinnati Reds in 2020, he allowed four hits, one homer, and two runs in three ⅓ in three games. He struck out three times in total, including Rougned Odor, Giancarlo Stanton, and Mike Freeman.

The game responsible for the most innings was against the St. Louis Cardinals on Sept. 2, 2020. Davidson took the mound in the eighth inning when the score widened to 1-14. He got a right-handed hit by Andrew Kizner, and allowed a two-run homer over the right fence to Brad Miller, the next batter. Paul Dayon also hit a heavy hit, but Yadier Molina hit a double play to third base to clear the crisis of additional runs. Matt Carpenter handled a fly ball to left field.

In the ninth inning, he gave up a walk to Tyler O’Neill, the first batter. He did not give up a run this time. He increased his out count against Lane Thomas, Harrison Bader, and Tommy Edman. Coincidentally, another pitcher and batter Michael Lorenzen played in the game as a center fielder. Lorenzen started focusing on pitchers in 2022, and last year, he pitched more than 150 innings for the first time since his debut.

It was his last major league pitch. Still, the challenge persisted. According to the Los Angeles Times, when he participated in the Dodgers’ spring camp as an invited player in 2021, he said, “There are tools that I don’t have, but pitching is one of the things that I have. I think I can throw it off the mound.”

Davidson showed such confidence in the interview because one of the reasons the Dodgers gave him the contract was his pitching and hitting combined. Other teams besides the Dodgers showed no interest in Davidson’s pitching career.

However, according to Davidson, manager Dave Roberts first asked how much he was prepared as a pitcher. “I talked to Roberts on the first day of joining the camp and he immediately said that. I was excited,” Roberts told the Los Angeles Times at the time. “Davidson could play as a third baseman or block several innings in the bullpen. He is a player who will add fluidity to our roster.”

Of course, Davidson knew well what he needed to focus more on. Instead, he regularly threw bullpen sessions to prepare for one thing. “I feel at ease when I stand on the mound. It’s not unfamiliar. I don’t feel like additional training when I stand on the mound after a full day of defense and batting training,” he said.

When he took the mound in 2018 to fill the garbage inning with the Chicago White Sox, he recalled his memories of playing as a pitcher in high school. “I don’t think pitching and hitting players are as strange or unfamiliar as before in baseball,” Davidson said.

The LA Times introduced Davidson’s pitching career, writing, “He makes impressive pitches by mixing fastballs, curves, and splitters.” Davidson said his fastball speed reached up to 92 miles per hour (about 148 kilometers) without training as a pitcher at the White Sox.

He expressed confidence that he could become a better pitcher if he received systematic training from the Dodgers, but in the end, he not only failed to call up the Major League but also failed to take the mound in Triple-A.

Teammate with Thames, co-homer king Jason Martin

Thanks to the recruitment of Davidson, NC has retained the Triple-A Home Run King as a foreign hitter for the second consecutive year. Jason Martin and Davidson, who played last year, were both home run kings in the Pacific Coast League in 2022. The two players competed for home run king and ended the season tying for first place.

Martin hit 32 home runs from 544 at-bats in 129 games with the Oklahoma City Dodgers under Dodgers, and Davidson hit 32 home runs from 382 at-bats in 86 games with teams under Oakland and Arizona. The result was the same as 32 home runs, but Davidson was more dense.

Most of all, Davidson has had a season in which his weaknesses are not highlighted. He struck out 102 times, but based on his high batting average reaching 0.310 and not a few 44 walks, he posted an OPS of 1.058, ranking third in the league. At that time, nine players, including Davidson, had an OPS of 1.000 in the PCL. Among them, only Davidson has played more than 80 games.

He also played with NC players Thames (retired) and Christian Betancourt (Miami Marlins) for Triple-A Las Vegas Aviator under Oakland.

Asked if he knew anything about Korean baseball in an interview with his club, Davidson said, “I’ve only heard a lot of good things about the KBO. I heard that there are a lot of passionate fans, especially those of the NC Dinos, who send enthusiastic support for the players.” The advice of the two players may have had a positive effect on the transfer. In addition, Samsung’s new foreign hitter David McKinnon was also a member of 마카오토토도메인 Las Vegas at the time.

Davidson ended his career in the U.S. in 2022 and challenged to Asian baseball. He signed an annual contract of 77 million yen with the Hiroshima Carp, a Japanese professional baseball. In this regard, he left behind 19 home runs in 112 games. Instead, he failed to capitalize on his strength in the Minor League in 2022. He only posted a batting average of 0.210, gained 22 walks, and struck out a whopping 120. Eventually, he was excluded from renewing his contract and joined hands with NC to find the next team 마카오토토도메인.

NC general manager Lim Sun-nam and manager Kang In-kwon decided to recruit Davidson because he failed to adapt to the unique pitching form of Japanese pitchers and ended up performing below expectations. As Japan still has the strength of long-range power, which has hit nearly 20 home runs, there is an expectation that Korea will be able to regain its pressure.


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