When David Price was selected first overall in the 2007 draft he instantly became the Rays’ best pitching prospect. But that is not to say the organization did not already have some impressive pitchers.
Wade Davis was nabbed in the third round of the 2004 draft out of a Florida high school. The right-hander made 13 starts in his pro debut but was roughed up and had an ERA over 6.00 and allowed 11.08 H/9. The organization was cautious with him and they had him repeat the Short Season League in 2005. It was the next season, though, that the 20-year-old really got noticed.
In 27 Low-A ball games, he allowed 7.64 H/9 and amassed 10.17 K/9. He also walked almost four batters per nine innings, though. Davis then posted similar numbers in 2007 split between High-A ball and Double-A. In 2008, Davis was once again assigned to Double-A.
His numbers have regressed from his Double-A stint last season:
2007: 80.0 IP | 8.33 | 0.34 HR/9 | 3.38 BB/9 | 9.11 K/9
2008: 73.1 IP | 8.47 | 0.61 HR/9 | 3.44 BB/9 | 6.63 K/9
Have hitters caught up to Davis or is he hiding an injury? Or has he just hit a mid-season wall? He has allowed six runs in two of his last three starts. 2008 has not been an impressive season for Davis, but he still has a mid-90s fastball and an excellent curve ball. At 22 years of age, time is still on his side.