D-backs take notice of Davidson's defense

D-backs take notice of Davidson's defense

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The work that Matt Davidson put in during the offseason on his defense got the attention of D-backs manager Kirk Gibson early in camp.

Davidson made a few nice plays at third base in the team's opening game.

"Davidson I thought played pretty well over there," Gibson said after the game. "Showed soft hands."

Defense has not always been regarded a strength for Davidson, who was selected 35th overall by the D-backs in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft.

"Just really being more light on my feet and being more athletic over there," Davidson said when asked what he focused on this offseason. "I did a lot of drills, agility and footwork stuff. I didn't really focus on mechanics, but just took a lot more ground balls and tried to get quicker and more athletic."

Hitting does not figure to be a problem for Davidson, who smacked 20 homers last year for Class A Visalia. He is ranked by MLB.com as the D-backs' No. 5 prospect.

"I like the way he looks at the plate," Gibson said.

Now that Bobby Borchering, who was part of Davidson's Draft class, has been shifted from third base to the outfield, Davidson will no longer have to split time between third and first.

Davidson has spent time this spring working with third-base coach Matt Williams, who won four Gold Gloves during his big league career at third base.

One of the things that Williams stresses to the infielders is the importance of footwork, and what he's got Davidson doing more of is using one hand when he fields grounders.

"Since the ball is hit so hard up here you don't really have a lot of time to get in front of it and use two hands," Davidson said. "You've got to be comfortable with using one hand."