The Norman Transcript

National Sports

July 16, 2013

From strikeout to slugger



“He handles the ball in on him. He handles the ball away from him. He’s very aggressive,” Nationals manager Davey Johnson said. “He really has a good grasp of the strike zone and when you have a good grasp of the strike zone and you’re a very aggressive hitter, there’s not hardly any way to pitch to him.”

The sustained success has led to more difficult questions for Davis, and he’s confronted them head on. When asked on Twitter if he used steroids, he responded with a no. He considers the single-season home run record to be Roger Maris’ 61.

“I think any time you’re being asked about something, you want to be open and honest about it. I’ve got nothing to hide,” said Davis, who was eliminated in the second round of the derby. “I want people to know that. I want people to feel like they can get behind me.”

Relaxed and enjoying his first trip to the All-Star game, Davis knows other young players trying to make it in the big leagues will look to his story.

“I think it’ll be an inspiration for anybody who’s tried, succeeded and failed and then had to come back and learn how to succeed again,” he said. “There’s a lot of stories in baseball where guys came up and were highly touted and didn’t pan out. It’s unfortunate but I didn’t want to be one of those guys.”

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