Braves 2021 Player Review: Tucker Davidson

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Tucker Davidson wowed his way across the internet when a near-nude video, attached to electrodes, caught him hitting 100MPH while training at Driveline. When that video surfaced, Tucker essentially became a prospect overnight. It’s understandable. To that point, Tucker had shown a low-90s fastball but had the ability to throw 4 average to slightly plus pitches and that depth at least kept him in the prospect discussion. With the new fastball in tow, it was only a matter of time when he’d get his chance in the bigs. His first chance came in 2020 and it was a disaster, throwing 1.2 innings of 7 run baseball (many were of the unearned variety). Like Tucker always does in the offseason, he went back to Driveline, this time, to work specifically on pitch depth and it definitely seemed to work.

In 2021, Tucker was brilliant at Gwinnett, grabbing 4 starts, throwing 23 innings of 1.17 ERA baseball that also boasted a 5.6 K/BB ratio. On May 18th, he got his call back up to the bigs and performed admirably, pitching 6 innings and giving up 3 runs. He then hitched a ride on the Gwinnett shuffle shuttle and took his next start at AAA, tore it up, then got the call again on June 3rd.

He took 3 rotations and looked to be solidifying himself in the rotation. In 2 starts since being recalled, he was brilliant, pitching a total of 11.2 innings without giving up a run. Unfortunately, start 3 was not good…in a lot of ways.

Right away, the velocity was down. The grimace was there. And, unfortunately, it just so happened that it was right after the sticky ban. 2.1 innings into the affair and the TV caught Tucker pointing at his forearm. Knowing Tucker utilized some sort of sticky substance, I feared the worst.

Tucker didn’t pitch another MLB or MILB game again until October 3rd. The Jumbo Shrimp was the main course and he definitely kept them sitting in their seats with a tasty combination of pitches. In 3 innings, 0 walks, 5 Ks. Delish. Tucker replaced Charlie Morton on the World Series roster, pitched 2 innings, and was not great. Honestly, I didn’t expect him to be. The question remains for Tucker, like many pitchers, is can he still be effective without sticky substances? I think so. He has come so far with hard work and determination, forcing the hand of the Braves front office, yelling from the top of his lungs, “PAY ATTENTION TO ME!!” I can’t imagine someone so determined will give up that easily. I’m excited for his 2022.

Author: Ryan Cothran

Ryan is the site editor and manager of Braves Journal. Follow him on Twitter.

24 thoughts on “Braves 2021 Player Review: Tucker Davidson”

  1. Gerald Williams passed away from cancer. Heartbreaking. Used to plug him into the top of the lineup for the Bravos in Ken Griffey Jr. Slugest for N64.

  2. He was pretty popular here in Tampa Bay because of his handling of Mr. Pedro too.

    Gosh, look that video. Jose Guillen, Greg Vaughn, Ozzie Guillen, Williams. Tampa Bay was assembling some crappy and weird rosters back then.

  3. He was a very under-the-radar key piece for us in 1999. I’ll always remember him scoring the winning run on the Andruw Jones walk-off walk in the NLCS.

  4. Roster Resource has Tucker in the 5 slot at the moment. Is that where y’all see him, or do you have someone like Muller ahead of him?

    @1 – I was at the game in ’99 when Williams walked us off against the Marlins. Nice memory. RIP.

  5. I’m not sure, Brent. He’s got a lot to prove and it starts with pitch movement. If he can’t make it move without foreign aid, he’ll not be there.

  6. 5th slot assuming Soroka is not healthy? Hey, maybe MLB is waiting for him, at this point. I would think Ynoa would be in the 4th slot if Soroka is not healthy, so yes, I’d think Davidson would be in the 5th slot. Otherwise you’re slotting Wright in there.

    Unless I’m missing someone, which is very possible.

  7. #3
    Yeah, he had a lead-off double in the bottom of the 11th of Game 6.

    Earlier that year, I remember seeing a Braves/Yanks game at Yankee Stadium. The Braves were down 3 in the middle innings & Gerald (a former Yankee) hit a 3-run HR off the LF foul pole to tie it (off Pettitte, IIRC). I remember jumping out of my seat with a big “Yeah!” And the whole section gave me the stink-eye.

    That ’99 team had a weird lineup, esp. w/o Javy & Galarraga. Gerald made for an odd lead-off man b/c he didn’t walk much, but he had some pop & played a good LF. He was a big part of that pennant-winning club.

  8. When Galarraga was lost for the season in ‘99 due to his cancer, Williams had originally been the 4th outfielder set to platoon with Ryan Klesko, and he more or less became a regular with Klesko moving to first. (Randall Simon and Brian Hunter also had an increased amount of PAs.) As stated before in the thread, Williams had a nice season that year to help cover that hole.

  9. @10

    On starting to read your post above, the first 20 words or so put me in shock – I had no idea! I was half way to having to call you on it. Then I saw the comma.

    Regardless, your ongoing affinity with our past- and plenty from others too – delights.

  10. Are we not tempting fate with the increasing frequency of qualifiers here posted regarding the health of Mike Soroka? No one outside his own circle knows yet but, hey, its been a long while and surely we have just as much reason to anticipate the good as the bad for this type of injury over this period of time.

    And why do we seem to be ignoring the gumshoe element in getting to the bottom of all this? Never mind the hi-faluting ones, they have singularly failed to this point. I bet ububba with his big city baseball contacts knows a couple of this other breed – Runyonesque -perhaps past their best from the bottle, who still might still be motivated to dig deep for a return to the limelight.

    We need to find out, soon. He’s holding us up.

  11. I would be surprised if we have Soroka back before May. But we also may not have baseball by then so…

  12. Soroka might spend a good deal of time in the minors and, luckily, the minors will go on no matter what MLB does. Ya gotta wonder how many “rehab assignments” will happen if the season doesn’t start on time.

  13. I’m trying to get clarification, but 40-man guys cannot do rehab assignments but I’m not sure about 60-day IL guys.

    Clarified: no chance for rehab because transactions of the MLB variety are not allowed. I hope Manfred steps down tomorrow.

  14. Everyone on the 40-man is locked out even if they’re a minor leaguer or injured, just to clarify. No loopholes there.

  15. Correct. Tried to clarify that point, but the double post might’ve complicated matters.

  16. Is the blech related to the “Drew Waters basically sucks now” news & notes?

  17. Ron Darling majored in History.
    Craig Breslow majored in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry.
    Steve Eddy, who pitched 7 games for the Angels in 1979 and is now a doctor, majored in Biology.
    The Eli before that who made the bigs was Ken McKenzie, the only pitcher on the 1961 Mets to have a winning record. He also coached Yale baseball for 10 years. About him, Casey Stengel said: “He’s a splendid young fella with a great education from Yale University. His signing with us makes him the lowest paid member of the class of Yale ’56.” Unfortunately, the Alumni Database doesn’t have any information about his major or any of the 26 Yalies to make the majors before 1965.
    I would point out that Yale has one baseball HOF member: Jim O’Rourke https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/o/o'rouji01.shtml
    Oh… and the Captain of the CWS second place team in 1948 became President of the United States. https://sabr.org/journal/article/the-complete-collegiate-baseball-record-of-george-h-w-bush/

  18. @19: “Blah blah blablah blah blah blahblob blah blahh blahb many of whom helped the club win the World Series in 2021. Blah blablah blah. Blahp.”

    But… yeah.

  19. Our childish labor impasse should still not be compared for slimy fatuity with the NFL show these past weeks as they approach their Day of Days, perfect timing.

    ‘100 grand…every game you lose…you know it makes sense’. You cannot go lower than that. Until you include the recipient of such an offer- he who would have to actually arrange this, and is Black, the donor white.

    So, man the pumps, nothing is off limits. To shut all this up, call in Roger, have him briefed as to what he should say, word for word preferably, then haul him off, no questions.

    Goodell at 55 million dollars and still counting – this man is not only a pathetic national disgrace, he is a venal pawn to the degree we must hope Manfred will not aspire.

    Who dey? Young men playing it out in the full glare of the corporate establishment and its ‘customs’ deserve so much better for the biggest day in their lives. I like to believe our corruption base does not extend much beyond the odd garbage can and an excess of misplaced ‘dust’. Already corrected!

    Such innocence.

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