BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The honor may come with an interesting name, but Johnny Davis is finally getting the recognition he deserves, becoming the first players in Shuckers history to earn the Southern League's "Best Hustler" award.
"I don't know," Davis laughed when asked about the name of the award. "But maybe it means I play the game the right way."
The Shuckers outfielder joining the Southern League Post-Season All-Star team, thanks to his club record 52 stolen bases on the year. He reached the total thanks to a four-steal outing in the Shuckers' 4-2 win over Mobile Sunday, also a club record.
"They're not just going to let me steal," Davis said of his approach on the base paths. "They know I'm fast, so they pay a lot of attention to me, so it's harder for me to steal bases. (I have been) paying attention to detail, what they're trying to do with me while I'm on the base paths and knowing the counts, knowing when they're trying to pitch out and things like that. I've gotten better with those over the years."
From stealing bases, to stealing home runs - like his top play on ESPN's SportsCenter Top 10, a home run robbery of Pensacola's Alex Blandino back in April - his speed was never a secret. However, his continued development at the plate is now starting to turn heads. After batting just .226 in the first half, he's upped it all the way to .261, the best active average on the Shuckers' roster.
"Sticking with the process, man," Davis said what led to his turnaround at the plate. "Just confidence, confidence that I knew I could do it. I knew I was just having a rough patch at that moment. I knew I could turn it around, and I turned it around."
It's all a growing process for Davis, who played very little organized baseball before being drafted. As his game keeps improving, he continues to develop into a vital asset to the Brewers' organization.
"I probably just got over 2,000 career at-bats lifetime this year, and I've been in the Minors for four years," Davis said. "It's a big learning curve, the whole thing has been. I'm learning more and more each day."
Davis and the Shuckers face Mobile tomorrow at 5:05 p.m. for the last game of the 2017 season.