Since coming over from the Twins in the Sam Dyson trade, Jaylin Davis has been tearing it up for Sacramento, hitting .356/.442/.756, with 10 homers in 104 plate appearances. Rosters expand from 25 to 40 on Sunday, and with the Giants offense struggling again (Alex Dickerson has a .570 OPS this month, for example), he seems like a natural fit to come up and get some ABs in an attempt to help out.
But will he? Davis is an outfielder, and the Giants already have plenty of outfielders on the roster, all of whom need consistent playing time. Kevin Pillar, Mike Yastrzemski, Austin Slater, and Dickerson have all had years that fall in the range of good-to-excellent, and the Giants surely want them to continue getting consistent playing time, so Davis would be unlikely to get the starts to allow the Giants to do any real player evaluation at the major league level.
What about as a bench bat? It’s possible, though again, the bench is going to be pretty full. The Giants are likely to call up just about everyone on the 40-man roster who’s not hurt (like Zach Green) or ineffective (like Joe McCarthy and Melvin Adon), so Davis is going to have to fight about 8 guys for an opportunity to pinch hit on any given night.
Then you throw in where Davis has hit his homers. Now, this isn’t a knock on his performance — he also performed very well in the International League, which is much less hitter-friendly than the PCL — but 6 of his 10 homers with Sacramento came in Reno. Reno’s ballpark is very nice, and it’s also what would happen if you built Coors Field on the moon. Balls fly out of there, and a homer in Reno would not necessarily be a homer in San Francisco. He’s also hit one in El Paso, also a hitter’s park, to go along with two in Round Rock and one in Sacramento, which are fairer parks.
10 homers is a lot in one month no matter where you hit them and at what level, but it does mean the power might not be as certain to show up at Oracle Park as a glance at the raw numbers would indicate. And he’s having a good season with the River Cats no matter what, with a walk rate of 12.5% and a strikeout rate of 23.1%. For a power hitter, that strikeout rate is fine, and for anyone, that walk rate is great.
None of this means that he won’t get called up, but it’s tremendously unlikely to happen immediately. The River Cats won their division in the PCL, so at least for now, Davis is still playing every day. While that’s happening, the Giants aren’t going to call him up to sit on the bench; even if trying to win in the minors wasn’t valuable for its own sake, and Farhan has been clear about wanting his minor league teams to win, a few days of consistent at bats in the minors are better for Davis than a few days of sitting on the bench in the majors.
And finally, there’s the 40-man situation. The Giants currently have 39 guys on their 40-man roster, with Johnny Cueto a lock to take up the final one when he comes off the IL on September 1. Now, they will eventually have an opening, since Pablo Sandoval will undergo season-ending surgery, but with the Will Pablo Get One More AB holding pattern still ongoing, that opening hasn’t opened yet. The Giants probably aren’t going to add anyone to their 40-man before that, so we’re almost certainly not going to see Jaylin Davis in the majors on September 1.