Thursday, August 2, 2007

Next Connecticut fantasy star: Rajai Davis

Jeff Bagwell was a standout in fantasy baseball and Brian Leetch and Chris Drury are the same in fantasy hockey, and they effectively put Connecticut on the fantasy sports map. Next up Rajai Davis?
Davis, a native of Norwich who was a baseball-basketball-football star at New London High (1999 grad), made a nationwide impact during the ESPN2 broadcast of the San Francisco Giants-Los Angeles Dodgers game on Wednesday. Cheshire's own Chris Berman was one of the announcers and he couldn't stop ranting about Davis after what he did in the eighth inning.

Davis, always known for his blazing speed, led off the eighth inning with a bunt single. Two batters later he easily stole second and went to third on a passed ball and almost came home on the play. He eventually scored on a single by Bengie Molina.
It might be too early to call Davis a fantasy baseball impact player, and by Monday he could be sent down to Triple A Fresno, but Giants manager Bruce Bochy has given Davis the green light to steal while he's with the Giants.

Davis was the leadoff hitter on Wednesday and you can expect to see him in the lineup through the weekend. If you're in dire need of some short-term stolen base help, pick him up. But if he can be more consistent with the bat and manufactures a lot more runs, watch for Bochy to find a place on the roster for Davis. The Giants are certainly high on the outfielder and he will likely be a big part of their future.

The Giants got Davis from the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Jack Morris trade on Wednesday. In 24 games with Pittsburgh he hit .271 and had two RBIs. At Triple A Indianapolis this season he hit .318, drove in 30 runs and had 27 stolen bases.
Davis, who went to UConn-Avery Point, was drafted in the 38th round of the 2001 First-Year Player draft by Pittsburgh. From 2001-2006 in the minors, he batted .303 and stole 224 bases. He made his Major League debut on Aug. 14, 2006.
Speed is his main value for fantasy baseball owners. Last year he ended up with 45 stolen bases for Triple A Indianapolis. Prior to the 2005 and 2006 seasons he was rated as the "Fastest Baserunner" in the Pittsburgh organization by Baseball America.
Keep an eye on this home grown player who could stick with the Giants longer than expected.


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