Wade Davis (baseball)

Wade Davis

Davis, with the Kansas City Royals, finishing off the 2015 World Series
Kansas City Royals – No. 17
Born: (1985-09-07) September 7, 1985
Lake Wales, Florida
Bats: Right Throws: Right
MLB debut
September 6, 2009, for the Tampa Bay Rays
MLB statistics
(through 2016 season)
Win–loss record 55–37
Earned run average 3.53
WHIP 1.28
Strikeouts 689
Saves 47
Career highlights and awards

Wade Allen Davis (born September 7, 1985) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Kansas City Royals of Major League Baseball. From 2009 through 2012, he played for the Tampa Bay Rays.

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.[1]

Professional career

Davis pitching for the Southwest Michigan Devil Rays, Single-A affiliates of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, in 2006

Tampa Bay Rays

Draft and minors

Davis was drafted in the third round (75th overall) of the 2004 amateur entry draft by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. In the minors, he sported a 93–94 mph fastball, and an excellent spike curveball.[2][3] Davis has expanded his repertoire to include a two-seam fastball, a slider, and a changeup.[4]


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.


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.[5]

He was named a starting pitcher on Baseball America's 2010 All-Rookie Team.[6] 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.[7] He came in 4th in the voting for 2010 AL Rookie of the Year.[8]


Davis during his tenure with the Tampa Bay Rays in 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.[9]


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.


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.


In 2015, Davis has 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.[10] 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.[11] 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.[12] 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 picked up 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.

Davis on rehab assignment with the Omaha Storm Chasers, triple-A affiliates of the Royals, in 2016


On July 5, Davis was placed on the 15-day disabled list due to a right forearm strain.[13] On October 10th, 2016 the Kansas City Royals picked up Davis's 2017 option.

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.[14]


Davis is the second-cousin of former Major League Baseball player Jody Davis.[15]

Wade Davis married long time girlfriend, Katelyn Casey, in November 2009 in front of 200 guests in her hometown of Marlboro, NY. A graduate of the University of Tampa and 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 three dogs: Abagail, Charlie, and Ruth. In the summer of 2013, the couple gave birth to their daughter, Sully Rose Davis.


  1. "Royals star reliever Wade Davis carries memory of stepbrother on the mound | The Kansas City Star". kansascity.com. Retrieved August 25, 2015.
  2. Goldman, S.; Carroll, W.; Kahrl, C. (2010). Baseball Prospectus 2010. Wiley. p. 552. ISBN 9780470558409. Retrieved August 20, 2015.
  3. "Jason Heyward, Stephen Strasburg are game's top prospects - MLB - SI.com". Sports Illustrated. March 3, 2010. Archived from the original on October 26, 2012. Retrieved December 6, 2012.
  4. "Wade Davis » PitchFx » Overview | FanGraphs Baseball". fangraphs.com. Retrieved August 20, 2015.
  5. Bill Chastain (August 4, 2010). "Rays' Soriano, Davis earn monthly honors". mlb.com. Retrieved April 13, 2011.
  6. Eddy, Matt (October 19, 2010). "Future Big League Stars Highlight All-Rookie Team". Baseball America. Retrieved October 21, 2010.
  7. Joe Smith (September 29, 2010). "Crawford voted Rays Team MVP, Davis tabbed top rookie". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved October 1, 2010.
  8. Kelly Thesier (November 15, 2010). "Valencia finishes third in AL ROY balloting". mlb.com. Retrieved April 13, 2011.
  9. "Rays acquire prospect Wil Myers for James Shields, Wade Davis". tampabay.rays.mlb.com. Retrieved August 20, 2015.
  10. "Wade Davis allows first homer since 2013, a streak covering 125 2/3 innings | Big League Stew - Yahoo Sports Canada". ca.sports.yahoo.com. Retrieved August 20, 2015.
  11. "Royals add Wade Davis as new closer". Major League Baseball. Retrieved 2015-10-24.
  12. Baer, Bill. "Video: Wade Davis gets the final out, sending the Royals back to the World Series". HardballTalk. Retrieved 2015-10-24.
  13. Kruth, Cash. "Wade Davis placed on DL with forearm strain". MLB. Retrieved July 5, 2016.
  14. "Wade Davis PitchFX at FanGraphs.com". fangraphs.com. Retrieved September 24, 2015.
  15. Tony Fabrizio (September 22, 2009). "Davis gives fans something to 'look' forward to". Tampa Bay Online. Archived from the original on October 8, 2012. Retrieved March 6, 2011.

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