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Know your James Mungro Memorial Award Nominee: Brad Davis, future Detroit Tigers bullpen catcher?

Future Hall of Famers Brad Davis and Zach Miner. (TOLEDO BLADE)

Future Hall of Famers Brad Davis and Zach Miner. (TOLEDO BLADE)

If Brad Davis was a collection of all the Brad Davis’ in the world, he would be pretty one pretty cool actor/soccer player/basketball player/high school girls basketball coach/baseball player/other things.

Unfortunately, he’s only one of those things and he’s not particularly good at it.

Davis is a catcher for the Tigers, and he’s on dangerously thin ice. I almost just cut him now.

He has no Twitter account and no interesting name. He’s a non-roster invitee at camp that already has four catchers there. There probably won’t be more than three guys who line up behind the plate for the  Tigers all season, which makes Davis dangerously close to violating rule No. 2: He has to have at least an outside chance at making the team.

Fortunately for him, his background represents that of a true James Mungro Memorial Award sponsored by (sponsor pending) Winner. As previously mentioned, at age 30, he’s the winner of the newly-created Chris Bootcheck Award for the oldest JMMA nominee this year.

He was drafted by the Marlins in the fifth round of the 2004 Draft and didn’t make it up to AAA until 2009. Here’s where it gets slightly weird and the whole six degrees of separation thing really kind of blows your mind. Davis’ first major league call up came in 2010, when he joined the Marlins and took the roster spot of….former Tiger pitcher Nate Robertson. Robertson was only there because the Tigers traded him to the Marlins that year for Jay Voss and cash.

While replacing Robertson, Davis apparently grabbed the wrong bag on his way from AAA to The Show, forcing him to borrow catching gear, including his glove, for his major league debut. He ended up getting send back down near the end of the season, then called up again after one of the Marlins’ catchers, Ronny Paulino, was suspended for steroids. He ended up  playing 33 games with the Marlins, batting .211. To date, those are the only 33 major league games of his career.

After losing the Spring Training battle to be the Marlins’ backup catcher  in 2011, Davis was sent back down to AAA. He played 101 games before being designated for assignment and released. He then spent 39 games in the Padres’ organization, came back to the Marlins organization for a grand total of seven games, and on July 27, 2012, he became a Toledo Mudhen. He spent the last half of the season learning from the immortal Chris Bootcheck. In 15 games he hit .327.

Now he sits in Spring Training, on the edges of his career, looking for a chance he’s not going to get as long as he’s with the Tigers.

You know what? I’ve changed my mind on Brad Davis. I’m going to give him the shot he needs. I’m not going to cut him.

If he shows me something, I may even give him the award. Then we’ll all hope he becomes the Tigers’ bullpen catcher, because there’s no role more fitting to a James Mungro Memorial Award sponsored by (sponsor pending) Winner.

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