Last season turned out to be something of a disappointment for the Tampa Bay Rays, but the organization was able to get a good look at some of their younger, Major League-ready players stuck in the minors.
One of those players was Wade Davis, who was given a brief roster spot due to inconsistency and injuries in the starting rotation. Davis made the most of his opportunity, posting a 3.72 ERA, 2.77 K/BB, 8.92 K/9, and giving 1.2 wins above replacement value in a mere six starts.
Davis' Minor League track record precedes himself, as he has been impressive at every stop. How will he fare in the upcoming season though? That question is completely dependant on the decision to install him in the starting rotation, but he is most certainly one of the front runners.
The K/9 ration will most certainly drop down too the 7.75-8 range, and his K/BB should see some regression as well. His left on base percentage was very low at 62.5 percent, and that will definitely shoot up. Another red flag is his line drive percentage, which came in at a 25 percent. This number will most likely go down with a decreased number of fastballs thrown (74.2 percent).
Some other peripheral statistics appear very promising. All of his pitches produced positive run values, especially his curve (2.66 runs above average per 100 thrown) and fastball (1.73 runs above average per 100 thrown) with exception to his developing change-up, which got hammered. I fully expect his change to get better, similar to Scott Kazmir.
Davis did an extraordinary job of putting away batters (.244 BA against), without overly depending on his fielders (.318 BABIP). He also did a good job of missing bats (79.8 percent contact).
Wade Davis looks primed to put in a solid, Jeff Niemann-like season, given the opportunity to start games in 2010. He figures to put in about a three WAR season if he gets that opportunity, which is amazing production out of a team's fifth starter.