Wade Davis (baseball)

Wade Allen Davis (born September 7, 1985) is an American former professional baseball pitcher. He has played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Tampa Bay Rays, Kansas City Royals, Chicago Cubs, and Colorado Rockies. Davis is a three-time MLB All-Star. He was a member of the Royals' 2015 World Series-winning team, and earned the Babe Ruth Award for his performance in the 2015 MLB playoffs.

Wade Davis
Davis with the Colorado Rockies in 2018
Born: (1985-09-07) September 7, 1985
Lake Wales, Florida, U.S.
Batted: Right
Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 6, 2009, for the Tampa Bay Rays
Last MLB appearance
September 11, 2021, for the Kansas City Royals
MLB statistics
Win–loss record63–55
Earned run average3.94
Career highlights and awards

Early life

Born and raised in the small town of Lake Wales, Florida, Davis attended Lake Wales High School. After high school, Davis originally committed to attend the University of Florida, but later turned down the offer to play professional baseball.[1]

Professional career

Draft and minors

Davis pitching for the Southwest Michigan Devil Rays in 2006

The Tampa Bay Devil Rays selected Davis in the third round, with the 75th overall selection, of the 2004 MLB draft. In the minors, he sported a 93–94 mph fastball, and a spike curveball.[2][3] Davis has expanded his repertoire to include a two-seam fastball, a slider, and a changeup.[4]


Davis made his major league debut on September 6, 2009, against the Detroit Tigers. He earned a no-decision after pitching seven innings, allowing one run, with nine strikeouts.


Davis was the July 2010 AL Rookie Pitcher of the Month, after posting a 4–0 record with a 3.03 ERA in five starts.[5]

He was named a starting pitcher on Baseball America's 2010 All-Rookie Team.[6] The Tampa Bay chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America also named Davis the Most Outstanding Rookie of the Tampa Bay Rays for the 2010 season.[7] He came in 4th in the voting for 2010 AL Rookie of the Year.[8]


Davis pitching for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2012

After two years in the Rays' starting rotation, Davis spent 2012 coming out of the Rays' bullpen and had a strong season.

Kansas City Royals

On December 9, 2012, Davis was traded to the Kansas City Royals (along with James Shields) in exchange for Wil Myers, Jake Odorizzi, Mike Montgomery and Patrick Leonard.[9]


Davis spent most of 2013 in the Royals' rotation and compiled a 6–10 record through the end of August. He moved to the bullpen for September 2013 and remained in the bullpen through 2014.


In 2014, Davis posted one of the most dominant seasons ever by a reliever. From June 25 to September 16, Davis did not give up an earned run. On September 15, his ERA was an astonishing 0.69. On September 22, 2014, Davis struck out Yan Gomes for his 104th strikeout of the season, breaking the Royals record for most strikeouts by a relief pitcher, which was 103 and had been shared by Jim York (1971) and Greg Holland (2013). Davis finished the regular season with a 9-2 record, posting a 1.00 ERA. He struck out 109 batters and walked 23. He did not give up a home run in 2014. This dominance continued through the postseason, with Davis posting a 2-0 record and an ERA of 0.63. He struck out 20 batters and walked only 2.


Davis pitching for the Kansas City Royals in the 2015 World Series.

In 2015, Davis continued his dominance in the bullpen, pitching almost exclusively in the 8th inning, much like 2014. On June 28, Davis' homerless streak almost ended, giving up a double off the top of the wall at O.co Coliseum to Marcus Semien. On August 1, Davis' homerless streak ended at 125.2 innings, giving up a home run to the Blue Jays' José Bautista. His streak was the second longest in Royals history, and the longest such streak by a reliever.[10] On September 22, Davis was selected by manager Ned Yost as the Royals' new closer, as the Royals announced that Greg Holland was done for the year and possibly all of 2016 due to pending Tommy John surgery.[11] On October 23, Davis forced Blue Jays slugger and 2015 American League MVP candidate Josh Donaldson to ground out to Mike Moustakas at third base, which was the final out to secure the Royals' second consecutive American League Championship Series title.[12] Davis later recorded the final three outs of the 2015 World Series, as the Royals defeated the New York Mets in five games.

In the 2015 MLB postseason, Davis went 1-0 and earned four saves in four opportunities. He struck out 18 batters while allowing no earned runs over 10+23 innings pitched. This performance earned him the 2015 Babe Ruth Award, recognizing Davis as the most valuable player in the MLB postseason.


On July 5, Davis was placed on the 15-day disabled list due to a right forearm strain.[13] On November 4, 2016, the Royals picked up Davis's option for the 2017 season.[14]

Chicago Cubs

Davis pitching for the Chicago Cubs in 2017

On December 7, 2016, the Royals traded Davis to the Chicago Cubs for Jorge Soler.[15] Davis was selected as the only Cub representative to the 2017 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. He gave up a game-winning tenth inning home run to Robinson Canó.[16]

On August 29, 2017, Davis set the Chicago Cubs franchise record with his 27th consecutive save.[17]

In Game 5 of the 2017 National League Division Series, he tied a Division Series record with 3 saves which tied Aroldis Chapman. But he tied a record by getting one in each of his 3 opportunities; matching Dennis Eckersley's feat in the 1996 National League Division Series.

Colorado Rockies

Davis signed a three-year, $52 million contract with the Colorado Rockies on December 29, 2017.[18]


In his first season in Colorado, Davis led the NL in saves with 43. He ended the season with a 4.13 ERA, his highest ERA since 2013. He struck out 78 batters in 65+13 innings.


Davis pitching for the Colorado Rockies in 2019

He was placed on the disabled list on May 22, 2019 with a left oblique injury.[19] He was removed from the closer role on August 2. At the end of the season, Davis put out the worst season of his career, posting a 8.65 ERA in 50 games. In 42+13 innings, he struck out 42 batters while inducing 29 walks.

On December 21, 2019, he was named as one of the two closers for All-Decade second team of 2010's with Kenley Jansen.[20]


Davis began the shortened season as the Rockies closer but after blowing saves within a week he was removed from the role. On September 19, 2020, Davis was designated for assignment by the Rockies. He had allowed 10 runs in under 5 innings.[21] Davis was released by the Rockies on September 21.[22]

Kansas City Royals (second stint)

On January 20, 2021, Davis signed a minor league contract with the Kansas City Royals organization.[23] On March 28, 2021, Davis was selected to the 40-man roster.[24] Davis pitched in 40 games for the Royals in 2021, going 0-3 with a 6.75 ERA and 38 strikeouts. He became a free agent following the season.

On November 24, 2021, Davis announced his retirement.[25]

Pitch selection

As a starter, Davis threw five pitches (four-seam fastball, cut fastball, curveball, slider and changeup). As a relief pitcher, he has relied primarily on three pitches: a four-seam fastball in the 95–98 MPH range (topping out at 99 MPH), a cut fastball that averages 92–93 MPH, and a knuckle curve in the mid-80s that he started throwing in 2013.[26]

Personal life

Davis is the second-cousin of former Major League Baseball player Jody Davis.[27] Wade Davis married long-time girlfriend, Katelyn Casey, in November 2009 in her hometown of Marlboro, New York. The couple has two children and three dogs.

The couple run a non-profit organization called "Full Kount", which benefits children age 18 and younger who use sports as a positive influence in their lives.


  1. "Royals star reliever Wade Davis carries memory of stepbrother on the mound | The Kansas City Star". kansascity.com. Retrieved August 25, 2015.
  2. Goldman, S.; Carroll, W.; Kahrl, C. (2010). Baseball Prospectus 2010. Wiley. p. 552. ISBN 9780470558409. Retrieved August 20, 2015.
  3. "Jason Heyward, Stephen Strasburg are game's top prospects - MLB - SI.com". Sports Illustrated. March 3, 2010. Archived from the original on October 26, 2012. Retrieved December 6, 2012.
  4. "Wade Davis » PitchFx » Overview | FanGraphs Baseball". fangraphs.com. Retrieved August 20, 2015.
  5. Bill Chastain (August 4, 2010). "Rays' Soriano, Davis earn monthly honors". mlb.com. Retrieved April 13, 2011.
  6. Eddy, Matt (October 19, 2010). "Future Big League Stars Highlight All-Rookie Team". Baseball America. Retrieved October 21, 2010.
  7. Joe Smith (September 29, 2010). "Crawford voted Rays Team MVP, Davis tabbed top rookie". St. Petersburg Times. Archived from the original on October 13, 2012. Retrieved October 1, 2010.
  8. Kelly Thesier (November 15, 2010). "Valencia finishes third in AL ROY balloting". mlb.com. Retrieved April 13, 2011.
  9. "Rays acquire prospect Wil Myers for James Shields, Wade Davis". tampabay.rays.mlb.com. Retrieved August 20, 2015.
  10. "Wade Davis allows first homer since 2013, a streak covering 125 2/3 innings | Big League Stew - Yahoo Sports Canada". ca.sports.yahoo.com. Retrieved August 20, 2015.
  11. "Royals add Wade Davis as new closer". Major League Baseball. Retrieved October 24, 2015.
  12. Baer, Bill (October 24, 2015). "Video: Wade Davis gets the final out, sending the Royals back to the World Series". HardballTalk. Retrieved October 24, 2015.
  13. Kruth, Cash. "Wade Davis placed on DL with forearm strain". MLB. Retrieved July 5, 2016.
  14. "Royals exercise options on closer Wade Davis, SS Alcides Escobar". ESPN.com. November 4, 2016. Retrieved December 7, 2016.
  15. "Royals trade Davis to Cubs for Soler". SI.com.
  16. Frisaro, Joe. "Don't ya know! Cano powers AL in extras". MLB.com. MLB Advanced Media. Retrieved July 11, 2017.
  17. Rogers, Jesse. "Davis sets Cubs mark with 27th straight save". ESPN.com.
  18. Harding, Thomas (December 29, 2017). "Davis signs three-year deal with Rox". mlb.com. Retrieved December 29, 2017.
  19. "Rockies' Wade Davis: Lands on IL with oblique strain". CBSSports.com.
  20. The MLB All-Decade Team (Best players of the 2010s) | Best of the Decade, retrieved December 21, 2019
  21. "Rockies Designate Wade Davis For Assignment". MLB Trade Rumors.
  22. "Rockies Place Nolan Arenado On IL, Release Wade Davis". MLB Trade Rumors.
  23. "Royals Sign Wade Davis To Minor League Deal". MLB Trade Rumors.
  24. "Royals Select Wade Davis' Contract".
  25. "Wade Davis, 2015 WS champ with KC, retires". MLB.com. November 24, 2021. Retrieved November 24, 2021.
  26. "Wade Davis PitchFX at FanGraphs.com". fangraphs.com. Retrieved September 24, 2015.
  27. Tony Fabrizio (September 22, 2009). "Davis gives fans something to 'look' forward to". Tampa Bay Online. Archived from the original on October 8, 2012. Retrieved March 6, 2011.
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