Gerrod Jay Davis
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 6' 0", Weight 160-185 lb.
- High School Rezin Orr High School
Jay Davis is an outfielder (primarily a center fielder) who played 19 years in professional baseball. He had 8 years in the minors, mostly in the New York Mets farm system, reaching AAA, then spent two years in the independent leagues. Since then, he has been overseas, with 7 years in South Korea and one year in Mexico. His greatest seasons were with the Hanwha Eagles.
1989-1995: Mets minors
Jay was picked by the Mets in the 12th round of the 1989 amateur draft as a pitcher but has spent his pro career in the outfield. He debuted with the 1989 GCL Mets, hitting .246/~.290/.328. In 1990, Davis moved up to the Kingsport Mets and hit .230/~.256/.314 only. He stole 20 bases but was caught 10 times. His 10 outfield assists tied for the Appalachian League lead.
Davis began to emerge as a prospect with the 1991 Columbia Mets and hit .297/~.336/.386. He stole 25 bases, had 8 triples and finished 7th in the South Atlantic League in average. In 1992, Jay batted .281/~.290/.324 for the St. Lucie Mets; he only had 7 walks while striking out 70 times in 524 AB. He stole 21 bases, but was gunned down running 17 times.
Jay moved up to the Binghamton Mets in 1993 and hit .279/~.314/.342 while tripling his walk total. He was only 5 for 12 in steal attempts. In 1994, he led Mets minor leaguers in batting average with a .324 mark. He batted .329/.360/.440 for Binghamton and would have ranked second in the Eastern League at .329 but was 36 plate appearances shy of qualifying. Jay hit .214/.267/.286 in his first six games at AAA, all with the Norfolk Tides.
During the 1995 campaign, the 24-year-old slumped to .255/~.296/.341 with Binghamton and .192/~.192/.308 in 10 games up with Norfolk.
Jay spent one year in the Houston Astros chain, playing for the 1996 Tucson Toros. He hit .337/~.368/.455 in his final 33 games for an affiliated AAA team. Despite his solid play in limited time, Houston did not call him up.
1997-1998: Independent leagues
Jay moved to the Rio Grande Valley WhiteWings in 1997 and hit .357/?/.571. The 26-year-old was starting to show some pop, with 15 home runs, and he stole 33 bases as well. He was 7th in the Texas-Louisiana League in batting average. Davis was even better the next year, hitting .405/?/.741. He hit 26 home runs, tying Malvin Matos for second in the league behind John O'Brien, stole 25 bases, scored 89 runs, drove in 84, rang out 35 doubles and was second to Tim Howard in batting average. Davis made the TLL All-Star team in the outfield.
1999-2006: Hanwha and Mexico
Davis joined Hanwha in 1999 and hit .328/~.376/.570 with 30 homers, 35 stolen bases, 93 runs and 106 RBI. He was 7th in the Korea Baseball Organization in average with the best mark of any foreign-born player, edging Felix Jose by .001. In 2000, Jay batted .334/~.372/.566 with 21 steals and 22 HR; he was 5th in the league in average. During the 2001 campaign, the Chicago native put up a .335/~.406/.558 line with 30 home runs, 95 runs and 96 runs batted in. His BB/K ratio was his best yet at 60:74. His 166 hits were one behind league leader Byung-Kyu Lee and Jay finished 5th in average. Jay slumped to .287/~.360/.505 with 21 home runs in 2002. Despite the off-year, he still led all US players in the KBO in average.
Returning to Hanwha in 2004, the 33-year-old hit .291/~.377/.484; for the first time since he joined the Korea Baseball Organization, he failed to hit 20 homers (19) or steal 10 bases (9). The next season, he became the foreigner with the longest career in the KBO, breaking Tyrone Woods' record; Davis batted .323/~.391/.545 with 24 home runs and a league-leading 90 runs scored (tying Yong-taik Park). On September 10, he also broke Woods' RBI record for a foreigner in KBO. Byung-Kyu Lee again edged him for a title, this time the batting championship. In 2006, the veteran contributed at a .284/~.368/.487 clip with 21 HR.
His batting line in South Korea read .284/~.382/.533.
2007: USA and Mexico again
He signed with the St. Paul Saints for 2007. He hit .289/.333/.289 in 45 AB before being released. He was picked up by the Veracruz Eagle and batted .259/.369/.449 in 43 games in Mexico to end his career.