Talking Sport and Fitness with Zeke | Meet Austin Davis from Reading Fightins Phils
Reading Fightins Phil relief pitcher Austin Davis shares with Zeke his remarkable story about being a late bloomer who has evolved into a major league prospect. During his junior season at Scottsdale's Desert Mountain High School, he pitched just 1 1/3 innings. He got on the mound enough as a senior to show off a big fastball and earn a scholarship to Cal State-Bakersfield, but once there it was a struggle to earn mound time. Davis pitched just 26 1/3 innings as a freshman and couldn't make the team as a sophomore. Nevertheless, the Phillies saw potential in the 6-4 left-hander and three years after being drafted in the 12th round, Davis is beginning to realize it.
His season which has been split between Reading and Clearwater, he's started to create a buzz in the organization. Fightins pitching coach Steve Schrenk says the 24-year-old has a chance to help the big league club -- possibly soon -- because he is a left-hander who throws in the mid-90s and gets people out. Davis was pretty far off the Phillies' radar his first couple of seasons in the system. He went 5-6 and walked 44 batters over 95 2/3 innings in his first full pro season, in 2015 at Lakewood. Last season he didn't get on the mound until July because of a herniated disc, and finished an 11-game session at Clearwater with a 5.28 ERA.
Davis came into pro ball raw, and with only two pitches: a mid-90s fastball and a change-up. He has gradually continued to add to that, refining his control and adding a slider that has helped him take a huge step forward this year. His best asset, next to a fastball that touches 96 mph, is his mindset. He has a unique ability to not burden himself with self-imposed pressure and take each day as it comes. He said that comes from his deep inner faith and feeling less pressure because he was a late bloomer.
Watch or Listen to more of our story on Talking Sports and Fitness with Zeke.