Chris Davis focused on helping next wave of Orioles stars reach potential

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Ryan Wormeli
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Chris Davis' questions about the Orioles' rebuild have been answered originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Chris Davis' burning questions have been answered.

The longtime slugger has been in Baltimore since 2011, experiencing both the highs of multiple playoff runs and the lows of multiple last-place finishes.

Having been through it all, Davis was understandably curious about the state of the Orioles' rebuild heading into this past offseason - more specifically, where a high-priced veteran like him fits in with a team focused on the future.

But on Friday afternoon, Davis said he has more clarity now that he's back in the clubhouse.

"I think the questions that I had have been answered here in the first few days. I trust what [General Manager Mike Elias] is doing, I trust what our ownership wants to do moving forward, and I think that we have the guys in the clubhouse to turn this thing around," Davis told reporters. "Do I know the timeframe of that? I don’t. But I know that as long as I am here, I’m going to do everything that I can to pour into those guys, to be there for those guys, and kind of give them an idea of what winning baseball was like in Baltimore, and what it can be like in the future."

The Orioles won more games than any team in the American League from 2012-16, so Davis knows a thing or two about being part of a winning ballclub. In 2012 he was a key piece on the first winning team in Baltimore in 14 seasons, and he helped win the AL East crown in 2014.

His role on those teams was clear: hit home runs, play strong first base defense and generally be a force in the middle of the lineup.

His position on the current Orioles is a bit different, as he hopes to return to something close to his old form. But one role he is determined to fill is in helping bring along the younger players in the organization.

"For me, the main thing now is to focus on the future and do everything I can to help this next wave of guys really get into their potential and put the club in the best position to win," he said.

Focusing on the future can be easier said than done for a player entering his age-35 season coming off three straight seasons with a batting average below .200.

For Davis, the best way to develop a winning culture in Baltimore again is to compete, compete, compete.

"I’m going to push guys around me," Davis emphasized. "I’m going to push Trey [Mancini] at first, whoever else is over there, and they’re going to push me back. And that’s how you find out who your best guys are. And I have no doubt in my mind that we’re going to have the best nine out there and you’re going to see a lot of familiar faces."

Three years in, the Orioles are just now starting to see the light at the end of the rebuilding tunnel. And even if Davis never returns the the 40-home run, 100 RBI force he used to be, his experience and leadership can go a long way toward getting Baltimore back into contention  even if he's no longer around when it happens.