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Davis out to prove he's a big league hitter

Davis out to prove he's a big league hitter

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Davis out to prove he's a big league hitter
ARLINGTON -- Chris Davis has more than proved he can succeed at Triple-A, but due to Adrian Beltre landing on the 15-day disabled list with a left hamstring strain, he has an opportunity to prove that he belongs in the big leagues.

Davis is in his third stint in Texas this season, and his first two were unspectacular. He hit three home runs and drove in four in 52 at-bats. What has stood out is Davis' mastery of Triple-A pitching.

He hit 24 home runs in 48 games at Triple-A Round Rock, averaging a home run every 8.04 at-bats. He is just seven home runs short of the Round Rock season record held by Luke Scott, despite playing in just under half of its games this year.

His performance landed him in quite a few trade rumors, as teams with more opportunities for playing time may have been intrigued by Davis' .824 Triple-A slugging percentage.

"I didn't know," Davis said. "Obviously, the last couple weeks there's been a lot of speculation about what we're going to do, try to get a bullpen piece, and I didn't know. I knew for the time being I was down in Round Rock and we were playing really well down there. You never know what's going to happen during the course of a season."

Davis said regular playing time did wonders for him mentally, in terms of limiting the pressure he put on himself to perform.

"I think its huge. Obviously, when you're in the Minor Leagues and you're playing every day, there's a certain mindframe that you go into, going in knowing your name is going to be in the lineup," Davis said. "Earlier this year, when I was called up and coming off the bench, it was a little bit different for me."

Rangers manager Ron Washington said he is confident that Davis can contribute on the big league ballclub.

"I know what Chris can do, so he doesn't have to do anything with my confidence," Washington said. "It's his confidence that he should be concerned about. Because Ron Washington shows up every day confident."

The more Davis' Round Rock numbers ballooned, the harder it was for him to reconcile his performance with the fact that he was still in Triple-A.

"It's been a miracle, to be honest with you," Davis said. "It's been a really, really crazy year, and it's really only halfway over. It is part of the job. I never thought growing up that I'd be going back and forth like this, but this is an opportunity for me to make my mark."

With Beltre's injury, he gets a chance to show the Rangers and the rest of the big leagues that he is more than just a great hitter of Triple-A pitching.

"That's kind of on the back burner right now," Davis said. "Obviously, my focus is to help the team win as much as I can. Right now, I'm a Texas Ranger, and we're trying to win the AL West. That's where my head's at, and that's where it's going to stay."

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