Wade Allen Davis (born September 7, 1985) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Colorado Rockies​ of  Major League Baseball (MLB). He has played for the Tampa Bay Rays, Kansas City Royals and Chicago Cubs. Davis is a three-time MLB All-Star. He was a member of the Royals' 2015 World Series-winning team, and earned the Babe Ruth Award for his performance in the 2015 MLB postseason.

 

 

Amateur career

Born and raised in the small town of Lake Wales, Florida, Davis attended Lake Wales High School. After high school, Davis originally committed to attend the University of Florida, but later turned down the offer to play professional baseball.[2]

Professional career

Tampa Bay Rays

Draft and minors

 

The Tampa Bay Devil Rays selected Davis in the third round, with the 75th overall selection, of the 2004 MLB draft. In the minors, he sported a 93–94 mph fastball, and a spike curveball.[3][8] Davis has expanded his repertoire to include a two-seam fastball, a slider, and a changeup.[6]

2009

Davis made his major league debut on September 6, 2009, against the Detroit Tigers. He earned a no-decision after pitching seven innings, allowing one run, with nine strikeouts.

2010

Davis was the July 2010 AL Rookie Pitcher of the Month, after posting a 4–0 record with a 3.03 ERA in five starts.[7]

He was named a starting pitcher on Baseball America's 2010 All-Rookie Team.[48] The Tampa Bay chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America also named Davis the Most Outstanding Rookie of the Tampa Bay Rays for the 2010 season.[51] He came in 4th in the voting for 2010 AL Rookie of the Year.[61]

2011–2012

 

After two years in the Rays' starting rotation, Davis spent 2012 coming out of the Rays' bullpen and had a strong season.

Kansas City Royals

On December 9, 2012 Davis was traded to the Kansas City Royals (along with James Shields) in exchange for Wil Myers, Jake Odorizzi, Mike Montgomery and Patrick Leonard.[6]

2013

Davis spent most of 2013 in the Royals' rotation and compiled a 6–10 record through the end of August. He moved to the bullpen for September 2013 and remained in the bullpen through 2014.

2014

In 2014, Davis posted one of the most dominant seasons ever by a reliever. From June 25 to September 16, Davis did not give up an earned run. On September 15, his ERA was an astonishing 0.69. On September 22, 2014, Davis struck out Yan Gomes for Davis' 104th strikeout of the season, breaking the Royals record for most strikeouts by a relief pitcher, which was 103 and had been shared by Jim York (1971) and Greg Holland (2013). Davis finished the regular season with a 9-2 record, posting a 1.00 ERA. He struck out 109 batters and walked 23. He did not give up a home run in 2014. This dominance continued through the postseason, with Davis posting a 2-0 record and an ERA of 0.63. He struck out 20 batters and walked only 2.

2015

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Davis during his tenure with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2012

In 2015, Davis continued his dominance in the bullpen, pitching almost exclusively in the 8th inning, much like 2014. On June 28, Davis' homerless streak almost ended, giving up a double off the top of the wall at O.co Coliseum to Marcus Semien. On August 1, Davis' homerless streak ended at 125.2 innings, giving up a home run to the Blue Jays' José Bautista. His streak was the second longest in Royals history, and the longest such streak by a reliever.[12] On September 22, Davis was selected by manager Ned Yost as the Royals' new closer, as the Royals announced that Greg Holland was done for the year and possibly all of 2016 due to pending Tommy John surgery.[13] On October 23, Davis forced Blue Jays slugger and 2015 American League MVP candidate Josh Donaldson to ground out to Mike Moustakas at third base, which was the final out to secure the Royals' second consecutive American League Championship Series title.[14] Davis later recorded the final three outs of the 2015 World Series, as the Royals defeated the New York Mets in five games.

In the 2015 MLB postseason, Davis went 1-0 and earned four saves in four opportunities. He struck out 18 batters while allowing zero earned runs over 10 2/3 innings pitched. This performance earned him the 2015 Babe Ruth Award, recognizing Davis as the most valuable player in the MLB postseason.

2016

On July 5, Davis was placed on the 15-day disabled list due to a right forearm strain.[15] On November 4, 2016, the Royals picked up Davis's option for the 2017 season.[22]

Chicago Cubs

On December 7, 2016, the Royals traded Davis to the Chicago Cubs for Jorge Soler.[23] Davis was selected as the only Cub representative to the 2017 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. He gave up a game-winning tenth inning home run to Robinson Canó.[24]

On August 29, 2017, Davis set the Chicago Cubs franchise record with his 27th consecutive save.[25]

In Game 5 of the 2017 National League Division Series, he tied a Division Series record with 3 saves which tied Aroldis Chapman. But he tied a record by getting one in each of his 3 opportunities; matching Dennis Eckersley's feat in the 1996 American League Division Series.

Pitch selection

As a starter, Davis threw five pitches (four-seam fastball, cut fastball, curveball, slider and changeup). As a relief pitcher, he has relied primarily on three pitches: a four-seam fastball in the 95–98 MPH range (topping out at 99 MPH), a cut fastball that averages 92–93 MPH, and a knuckle curve in the mid-80s that he started throwing in 2013.[6]

Personal life

Davis is the second-cousin of former Major League Baseball player Jody Davis. Wade Davis married long-time girlfriend, Katelyn Casey, in November 2009 in her hometown of Marlboro, New York. She is a graduate of the University of Tampa and an aspiring interior designer. Katelyn also runs the couples' non-profit organization "Full Kount" which benefits children age 18 and younger who use sports as a positive influence in their lives. The couple have two children and three dogs.