Chris Davis of Texas leads Rangers to first place in AL West

Ex-Kelowna Falcons infielder Chris Davis of the Texas Rangers blasted a walk-off two-run homer off Seattle Mariners closer Brandon Morrow to give Texas the 3-2 series finale victory in a game played Thursday afternoon at the Ballpark in Arlington (May 14, 2009).

The home run was Davis’ 10th of the young season (3rd in AL) and with the win Texas improves its AL West leading record to 20-14 (1.5 games ahead of the Angels).

The Rangers’ starting first baseman, picked in the 5th round of the 2006 MLB draft, hit .285 last summer with 17 HR, 23 doubles and 55 RBI for Texas in his rookie season.

Chris starred for Kelowna in 2005 following his freshman season at Navarro Junior College (TX).

Kelowna general manager Mark Nonis remembers Davis fondly. “Chris was an exceptional young man. It was easy to tell the day that he stepped foot on the field in Kelowna that the guy had major league talent. He possessed all 5 tools,” said Nonis. “Not only did he have the talent, but he always had a smile on his face and his playful personality kept everyone loose.”

Davis led the Falcons in almost every offensive category that summer including average (.331), home runs (5) and RBI (29).

Another major leaguer who played for a West Coast League team, Bobby Scales of the Chicago Cubs, had a big day on Thursday too as Bobby went 2 for 4 with two doubles and 4 RBI in the Cubs 11-3 pounding of the Padres at Wrigley Field. Bobby was recently called up and has hit safely in all six games he’s appeared since May 5. Scales is hitting .444 (8 for 18) with 2 doubles, a triple, a home run and 5 RBI. Bobby, a star in college at University of Michigan, played for the Corvallis (then known as Aloha) Knights in 1997 and led the team in hitting (.379) that summer.

Other West Coast League alums making a difference in the big leagues are Bend’s Brian Barden (.291, 3, 7) of St. Louis and Jacoby Ellsbury (.297, 16 sb) of Boston – both of Oregon State – and Wenatchee’s Jason Hammel (0-1, 5.40) of Colorado and Kelowna’s Nyjer Morgan (.311, 3 triples, 9 sb) of Pittsburgh. Barden is a starting infielder for the Cards, Ellsbury a starting outfielder for the Red Sox, Hammel a starting pitcher for the Rocks and Morgan a starting outfielder for the Pirates.