Minor League Sports

Michael Davis continues to shine as Cedar Rapids Kernels' new shortstop

CEDAR RAPIDS — On top of everything else, he even was given the same dressing stall Royce Lewis had in the home clubhouse at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

Michael Davis was the guy called up from Rookie ball and called upon to play shortstop most days for the Kernels when mega-prospect Lewis was promoted a week and a half ago to the high-Class A level.

The 2018 draft pick has more than held his own thus far in the Midwest League and has helped his new club continue its winnings ways.

“I’m really enjoying it,” Davis said, after C.R.’s 7-2 win Thursday night over Clinton. “I’m having a lot of fun, getting out there and playing every day and getting to know these guys.”

The 22-year-old was a 24th-round selection of the Minnesota Twins in last month’s MLB Draft, playing four years of college ball for Texas Tech. The Red Raiders played in this year’s College World Series, so Davis didn’t sign a contract until his team was eliminated.

He played three games at Rookie-level Elizabethton, picking up six hits, then was shipped to Cedar Rapids. For the Kernels, he is a cool 9-for-25, including a 2-for-4 game here that included a solo home run in the fifth inning.

“We didn’t know a whole lot about him coming in,” said Kernels Manager Toby Gardenhire. “He’s a draft guy, so you kind of roll the dice a little bit on them sometimes. But I like his swing, he has made a lot of loud contact since he’s been here, which is nice. Defensively, he has been good. He’s got a really strong arm, so he’s shown that. He’s a smart baseball player, he moves around well out there. He’s been great. Been nice to have.”

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“It’s always awesome,” Davis said, when asked what he thought about replacing Lewis. “I’m happy for him that he got called up. He deserves it. Everything he does is amazing. My goal is to get to the same spot he wants. I’ve got to keep working and doing everything I can.”

The Kernels moved to 55-46 overall and a league-best 23-9 in the second half thanks in large part to a fine start from Edwar Colina. The right-hander had a shutout going until fading in the eighth inning, finishing with eight strikeouts in seven-plus innings.

Cedar Rapids got a 3-for-3 night from Jose Miranda offensively. Ryan Jeffers, Minnesota’s second-round pick this month, made his Kernels debut and had a RBI single in a four-run seventh.

The teams play again Thursday night at 6:35. The Kernels have won seven of eight and 10 of 12.

l Comments: (319) 398-8259; jeff.johnson@thegazette.com

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