Brennen Davis

23-Year-Old OutfielderOF
Chicago Cubs AAA
2023 Fantasy Outlook
Nothing went right for Davis last season. He entered the year as the Cubs' top prospect but scuffled in the cold weather of the Midwest over the first month at Triple-A Iowa before getting shut down with a back injury in early-May and then having back surgery in early-June. Davis finished a rehab assignment at the end of August and returned to Triple-A, where he failed to get on track before the end of the season. A trip to the Arizona Fall League was supposed to be an opportunity for Davis to make up for lost time and finish the year on a high note, but though he looked excellent while hitting two home runs in his first five games, back issues resurfaced and Davis was limited to 21 plate appearances (1.048 OPS). Injuries can excuse some of Davis's struggles at Triple-A (.213/.343/.381 slash line, 27.7 K%, eight HR, zero SB in 59 games), but he is 23 and on the 40-man roster, so further excuses probably won't fly in 2023. Davis still has at least plus raw power, but his hit tool and durability are suspect and he no longer looks like a decent bet to chip in double-digit steals. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
$Signed a one-year contract with the Cubs in March of 2023.
Sent down to Triple-A
OFChicago Cubs  AAA
March 10, 2023
Davis was optioned to Triple-A Iowa by the Cubs on Friday.
Davis is finally over the back problems that plagued him last season, but he'll need to knock off some rust in the minors. The ceiling remains high for the 23-year-old.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Davis could be the face of the next great Cubs team. He is a 6-foot-4, five-tool center fielder with a chance to make a fantasy impact this summer. The sneaky thing about Davis is that the widespread grade of 60 on his power might be selling him short. He hits majestic, towering shots to all fields and does so with ease. His worst ISO in full-season ball was a .220 mark at Low-A in 2019, and he turned 22 in November. The two knocks on Davis are that he doesn't make the most of his plus speed on the bases, and that his hit tool may top out at average. He attempted just 12 steals (eight successes) in 99 games last year, so it would be unrealistic to expect more than 15 steals over a full MLB season. His 30.7 K% at Double-A is a massive outlier, as his next worst mark is 22.1% at Triple-A, but given his long levers and massive power, strikeouts will probably always be a part of the package. Davis will be one of the Cubs' most talented outfielders in spring training, but he will likely head back to Triple-A for a couple of months before making his long-awaited big-league debut.
There was some jockeying at the top of the Cubs' farm system in recent years, but Davis is now not only the clear top guy, but potentially the future face of the franchise as it enters what could be a multi-year rebuild. Drafted out of high school in 2018 as a two-sport athlete oozing with tools, Davis is more advanced as a hitter at this stage in his development than anticipated. He has added 35 pounds of muscle since signing in 2018, up to 208 pounds, and at 6-foot-4, he still has a lean, athletic frame. Plus speed remains, but it's his elite bat speed and plus-plus power potential that has elevated his ceiling. In a normal season, he would have opened at High-A with a chance to finish the year at Double-A. Instead, he spent the summer at the alternate site, where he faced mostly MLB-ready arms. He should spend the bulk of 2021 at Double-A, setting up a potential 2022 debut.
Hand and finger injuries limited Davis to 50 games at Low-A after a hamstring issue limited him to 18 games in the AZL after he was selected with the No. 62 overall pick in 2018. When healthy, Davis looks like the best fantasy prospect in the Cubs' system. He was seen as a raw two-sport athlete as an amateur but quickly showed an innate ability to track pitches in pro ball -- he has a 50:28 K:BB in 276 PA. The 6-foot-4 outfielder has thickened some since signing and no longer has plus speed, so he may end up in a corner. Still, he is an above-average runner with above-average raw power, and the tool that most scouts saw as his biggest weakness (hitting), may end up being his biggest strength. He has not had to make many adjustments in pro ball, so the next 20 months will tell us a lot about his ultimate upside and floor. For now he looks like a player who could be good at everything that matters in fantasy.
Not only is Davis an underrated prospect from the 2018 draft, he seems to be flying under the radar in a shallow Cubs farm system, largely because fellow draftee Nico Hoerner has generated a lot of offseason buzz. However, Davis has the tools and upside to be considered the top prospect in that system by season's end. A 6-foot-4, 175-pound two-sport athlete in high school (Davis also played basketball), he was seen as a raw but toolsy pick when the Cubs selected him in the second round. However, he had almost as many walks (10) as strikeouts (12) in 18 AZL games (his season was cut short due to a hamstring injury), and despite not hitting a home run, he was 32 percent better than the league's average hitter. Davis, who stole six bases on seven attempts, is a burner who should grow into at least above-average power, so if he hits for a high average, he could be a star. He may not make his full-season debut until late 2019 or early 2020.
More Fantasy News
Over last year's back issues
OFChicago Cubs  AAA
February 17, 2023
Davis said Friday that he's over the back issues that plagued him last year, Jordan Bastian of reports.
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Added to 40-man
OFChicago Cubs  AAA
November 15, 2022
The Cubs selected Davis' contract from Triple-A Iowa on Tuesday.
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Dealing with more back issues
OFChicago Cubs  AAA
October 29, 2022
Davis is battling back tightness and is expected to miss the remainder of the Arizona Fall League, Sahadev Sharma of The Athletic reports.
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Ready to rejoin Triple-A club
OFChicago Cubs  AAA
August 30, 2022
Davis (back) completed his rehab assignment at High-A South Bend and will be reinstated from Triple-A Iowa's 7-day injured list Tuesday, Patrick Mooney of The Athletic reports.
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Moves rehab to High-A
OFChicago Cubs  AAA
August 24, 2022
Davis (back) shifted his rehab assignment to High-A South Bend on Tuesday and went 1-for-5 with three strikeouts while playing 10 innings in left field in a 2-1 win over West Michigan.
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