Rays History

Tampa Bay Rays 2010 Top 10 Prospects: Where Are They Now?

By Seth Carter
PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 26: (EDITOR'S NOTE: IMAGE HAS BEEN DIGITALLY DESATURATED) Wade Davis #40 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a photo during Spring Training Media Photo Day at Charlotte County Sports Park on February 26, 2010 in Port Charlotte, Florida. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 26: (EDITOR'S NOTE: IMAGE HAS BEEN DIGITALLY DESATURATED) Wade Davis #40 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a photo during Spring Training Media Photo Day at Charlotte County Sports Park on February 26, 2010 in Port Charlotte, Florida. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images) /
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Wade Davis (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images) /

4. Wade Davis

Major League Career: 11 years (4 w/ Rays)

Career rWAR: 11.6 (3.1w/ Rays)

Wade Davis was drafted in the third round of the 2004 draft by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
Davis debuted in the 2009 season at age 23 with the Rays. He appeared in six games making six starts. As a starting pitcher, he pitched to contact in his first three seasons. In that time, he accumulated a 4.22 ERA with 254 strikeouts in 388.1 innings pitched. He was a pretty decent innings-eater. I don’t think many people knew he would become one of the game’s elite closers.

This is one of the few top prospects of yesteryear that actually accumulated more WAR on another team rather than with the Rays.

However, the Rays moved him to the bullpen in that fourth season. He made 54 appearances and excelled with a 2.43 ERA in 70.1 innings. In 113.2 innings less than the previous season, he struck out just 18 fewer strikeouts. Davis struck out 87 batters in 70.1 innings in 2012 once he moved to the bullpen.

The Rays decided it was time to cash in on his value. He was traded along with James Shields to the Kansas City Royals in exchange for Patrick Leonard, Mike Montgomery, Wil Myers, and Jake Odorizzi.

Two seasons later, Davis would finish eighth in Cy Young voting as a reliever. He pitched 72.0 innings earning only three saves, but his 1.00 ERA and 109 strikeouts caught the attention of the voters. He was truly incredible, posting a 3.7 rWAR as a relief pitcher.

The following season he proved that it wasn’t a fluke as he LOWERED his ERA to .94 and earned 17 saves with the Royals. In 2016 he posted his third consecutive season with a sub-2.00 ERA registering a 1.87 over 43.1 innings.

Davis struggled last season in Colorado but looks to bounce back in 2020 at age 34.

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