The Rangers have agreed to a minor league contract with corner infielder Matt Davidson, tweets ESPN’s Jeff Passan. He’ll presumably head to Major League Spring Training, and, interestingly, will work as both an infielder and a pitcher with his new organization, according to Passan. Davidson is represented by MVP Sports.
Davidson, 28 in March, more than doubled his career walk rate last season, walking in 10.5 percent of his plate appearances after doing so at only a 4.3 percent pace in 2017. That increase in plate discipline came at the expense of some of Davidson’s power, though, and strikeouts remained a severe issue (33.3 percent). Overall, he hit .228/.319/.419 with 20 home runs in 496 plate appearances last year and has 46 home runs in his past 939 PAs. He’s primarily been a corner infielder and, if he makes the MLB roster, would give the Rangers a right-handed bat to back up at first base, third base and designated hitter.
On the pitching side of the equation, Davidson is obviously even more of a work in progress. To his credit, though, he tossed three shutout innings of relief last season with a pair of strikeouts, one hit and one walk allowed. Davidson’s fastball sat at only 90 mph in that tiny sample, though one would imagine that with greater focus on pitching, that number could trend upwards.