Davis showing unexpected power for Tigers

Davis showing unexpected power for Tigers

SEATTLE -- Rajai Davis has never hit more than eight home runs in a season. He's already halfway there.

The only season Davis had four home runs by the All-Star break was 2012. His home run Friday night off Seattle lefty Charlie Furbush put him there by the end of May.

Between four home runs and nine doubles, Davis entered Saturday with a .433 slugging percentage that would rank as a career best. He has never even slugged for a .400 rate in a season, and his career mark stands at .369.

"It's kind of untapped power being released in the right conditions, with the right personnel around," Davis said.

For someone who was expected to be a platoon player when the season began, it's quite a start.

"Really, I wasn't expecting him to play this much against righties," manager Brad Ausmus said. "The injury to [Andy] Dirks forced our hand a little bit, and then he's handled himself really well.

"He's got power. If you watch him take batting practice, he's got power."

It's not something Davis is specifically trying to do. He takes an all-fields approach in batting practice, focusing on line drives, yet he's a speedster with more fly balls than ground balls every season.

"It just kind of happens, just putting my body in the best position to hit," Davis said.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.