Breakdown: Henry Davis Debut For Greensboro, Collect First Hit
After just a couple of games in the Florida Coast League, first overall pick Henry Davis got the call to Greensboro on Thursday, sliding into the fifth spot of the lineup as the designated hitter.
He started things off with a bang, drilling a ball off the wall in his first at bat, later getting thrown out at home while trying to leg out an inside the park home run.
On the night, Davis went 1 for 3 with a triple (thrown out at home) a strikeout and a walk. He eventually scored on a Will Matthiessen two run double in the eighth inning.
When Blake Sabol struck out in the ninth inning, it left Davis at the on deck circle and denied him a fifth plate appearance.
In his first plate appearance, as you can see Winston-Salem kept their pitches as far away as they could from Davis, after the first pitch was kind of a challenge fastball over the plate. Davis was able to foul it off, but after that they went away on Davis, working the count to 2-2.
The pitch he was drive to left center was left a little bit higher than the previous pitch that was called a strike. With his eyesight already looking in that direction, he was able to get a pitch that was a little more ideal to hit and drive it to left center and was nearly a home run.
In his second at bat, they attacked the same part of the strike zone starting off with a breaking ball low and away in the dirt. After fouling off a fastball low and away around the same spot that got a called strike in his last at bat, Davis rolled over top another breaking ball and eventually grounded into a fielder's choice to end the inning.
Davis struck out in his third at bat on the night, despite getting ahead 3-1 in the count. They started with a couple of pitches away like the first two at bats, before taking a back foot slider for ball three. It was the first pitch he saw on the night to go to the other side of the plate.
The 3-1 pitch was a fastball over the plate that was probably a better pitch to hit than the one he hit for a triple, but was way too far out ahead of it fouled it down the third base line. The bases were loaded and you kind of got a sense Davis was being a little too aggressive with that swing, and with how he had to hold back a swing the next pitch that got fouled off anyways.
So Winston-Salem threw a challenge fastball up high to match his aggressiveness and got him swinging.
His last at bat was a fairly simple four pitch walk. Sabol doubled to lead off the inning, putting a runner in scoring position immediately. So the Dash were cautious about throwing anything that would have allowed Davis to drive the ball and score the runner.
Rather they threw four pitches out of the strike zone, took the bat out of his hand and set up a double play in the process.
All in all it was a great first game for Davis. He drew a walk, and hit a ball off the wall. It was a shame he got thrown out at home, but it was a great play by the Dash defender.
The most exciting part of Davis getting moved to Greensboro is that it opens up the chance that he catches Quinn Priester, the Pirates top pitching prospect. Even if he doesn't catch on Friday, two more of their top pitching prospects - Carmen Mlodzinski and Tahnaj Thomas - are also scheduled to start this weekend.