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NPB’s Hiroshima Carp To Sign Matt Davidson

NPB’s Hiroshima Carp To Sign Matt Davidson

The Hiroshima Carp of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball have signed infielder Matt Davidson to a one-year contract, per Yahoo Japan. Davidson is represented by the MVP Sports Group.

It’ll be the first stint overseas for Davidson, the No. 35 overall pick in the 2009 draft (D-backs) and former top prospect who’s appeared in parts of six MLB seasons dating back to his 2013 debut. The bulk of Davidson’s MLB action has come with the White Sox, for whom he slugged 46 home runs between the 2017-18 seasons. However, despite Davidson’s clear plus power, he’s been hampered by a lofty 34.3% strikeout rate that has helped suppress his overall output. In 1112 plate appearances at the MLB level, Davidson is a .220/.290/.430 hitter with 54 home runs. He most recently appeared in 13 games between the A’s and D-backs in 2022.

Though he’s had his struggles at the big league level, Davidson has a much stronger track record in Triple-A — including a 2022 season in which he posted a mammoth .310/.414/.644 slash with 32 home runs in just 332 plate appearances between the top affiliates for Oakland and Arizona. The Pacific Coast League is notoriously hitter-friendly, but it’s nonetheless impressive to see that Davidson has slugged 60 round-trippers in his past 170 Triple-A games — and 93 in his past 275 games, dating back to 2019.

Even with consistent production in Triple-A over the past few seasons, Davidson hasn’t gotten much in the way of an MLB look. He’s appeared in just 35 big league games since Opening Day 2019.  In Japan, Davidson will receive consistent playing time and a far heftier salary than he’d have otherwise earned as a likely minor league signee who’d be seen as a depth option for a Major League club.

 

 

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