Confidence coming back for White Sox’ Matt Davidson

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Matt Davidson celebrates his walk-off homer against the Dodgers Tuesday.

PHOENIX — Batting averages of .199 and .203, coupled with a combined 255 strikeouts over two AAA seasons, will break you down. Third baseman Matt Davidson, a 2009 first-round draft choice and highly regarded prospect with the Arizona Diamondbacks who’s star fell after the White Sox acquired him in a trade for closer Addison Reed in Dec. 2013, hit an all-time low.

Professionally and emotionally.

“It was a tough two years, I’ll tell you that,” Davidson said Wednesday. “I lost all confidence that I ever had. I dealt with a lot of stuff and really kind of found who I was.”

The confidence is coming back for the 25-year-old third baseman, who is 10-for-24 with a team-high four homers and only two strikeouts in Cactus League games this spring.

“When you struggle like that, hitting .200 for two years, it’s very humbling,” Davidson said. “I’m just thankful to be here again, and the White Sox gave me another opportunity, kept me on the roster. A lot of teams would have taken me off. So I’m just excited to give them all I’ve got and give them a good player to use.”

While considered to have a better chance of making the roster, albeit a slim one, during his first Sox camp in 2014, Davidson was thought to have no shot this year. But Adam LaRoche’s unexpected retirement, coupled with Davidson’s good spring, have at least put him in the conversation as a possible roster piece. He can play some first base.

“He’s opening everyone’s eyes,’’ manager Robin Ventura said Wednesday.

“The big muscles are not getting involved as much. He’s using his hands a lot better and he’s direct to the ball.’’

Davidson took only three days off after last season, then hit almost every day and shortened his swing.

“He looks different. He feels different,’’ Ventura said. “There’s a lot of confidence there. And it’s good to see.’’

Encountering failure is part of navigating through any path to success in a sometimes unforgiving game. Davidson said his spiritual faith came front and center for him, and it helped him stay grounded through difficult times.

“It’s a tough thing to deal with, and I think everybody knows that and has dealt with it at some point,’’ he said. “It’s unfortunate I had that at that point in my career, but I’m still only 25 this year. I’m still pretty young. Hopefully I can have a pretty good career.”

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