Most high school pitchers who appear headed toward an early selection in the Major League Baseball draft almost exclusively focus on pitching their senior year.Redmond (Wash.)
senior Dylan Davis
isn't like most pitchers.
While the 6-foot, 200-pound Davis possesses a Major League fastball already, topping out between 92-94 mph, he is also one of the top outfielders in the state of Washington as well as being a force at the plate. Shutting down the other team from the mound and then getting the game-winning home run is nothing new for Davis, according to coach Dan Pudwill.
"Early in his sophomore year in a game against Issaquah, Dylan was 4-for-4 at the plate with two solo home runs," said Pudwill. "If that wasn't enough, he pitched five and two-thirds innings of shutdown ball, holding Issaquah to one earned run.
"The next week, he threw an 85-pitch complete game and hit a two-run home run to secure a 4-1 win," Pudwill continued. "After those two games, I knew it wasn't a fluke and we would be counting on Dylan for many a victory in the upcoming three years."
Make no mistake, Davis will be a high Major League Draft pick as a pitcher. He's listed among the top 25 prospects in the country, both college and prep, and he is among the top 15 pitchers on the board. MaxPreps has Davis listed as the nation's 16th best overall player in the Class of 2011 Baseball Recruiting rankings
Over the summer, Davis played in both the Area Code Games and the Aflac All-American Game. He has spent time with Team USA in the past, playing on the 2009 16U team.
"Both Area Code and Aflac were amazing," said Davis, who appeared in both events as a pitcher. "Aflac was by far the best, though. Francisco Lindor and Javier Baez were some of the toughest hitters I faced, but I never really got to face any pitchers when I was there."
Lately, Davis has been winning games for Redmond with his bat. In a 7-0 playoff win over Skyline, he was 2-for-4 with three RBIs and a home run. The following game against Inglemoor, a 6-2 win, Davis was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a home run.
Davis then helped put Redmond into the state tournament with a 10-0 win over Marysville-Pilchuck by going 3-for-4 with two doubles, two RBIs and two runs scored.
"Dylan just steps up in big moments," said Pudwill. "Dylan is a fantastic hitter with legitimate home run power and a mature understanding of how to attack pitchers and at-bats. He has all the tools — great speed, great arm in the outfield and excellent range."
From the mound, though, Davis is even better, according to Pudwill.
"He has a low-90s fastball with a devastating change and a hard breaking ball," he said. "He locates his off-speed very well. He simply outmatches the majority of high school hitters."
Davis is batting .403 for the year for Redmond, which is 18-7. He has 29 RBIs and a team-best nine home runs. He leads the team with a 6-2 record that includes 49 strikeouts in 40.1 innings pitched with a 3.99 ERA.
After losing the first game of the KingCo Tournament, Redmond has gone on a run with three straight victories. Davis hopes that his team can do well at the state tournament.
"I expect nothing but great things," he said. "But who doesn't with their team? I think our team is tough to beat because we have good hitters and a deep pitching staff."
Davis has committed to play at Oregon State next year and will have to weigh offers from the Major League organizations before deciding whether or not to play for the Beavers. Whichever route Davis chooses, Pudwill is convinced the organization that gets him will benefit.
"Dylan has the uncoachable trait of an intense fire within to be the best," he said. "He makes sure that others do not outwork him. He is one of the most intrinsically driven young men I have ever met."