Q&A with Yanks 14th Round Pick William Davis

"Rookie" Davis wants to work on his mechanics

The Yankees selected first baseman and right-handed pitcher William "Rookie" Davis in the 14th round out of Dixon High School in North Carolina. He sat down with us for a Q&A session to talk about being drafted by the Yankees, which big league player he most resembles, if he's looking to sign quickly, and a whole lot more.

PinstripesPlus.com: Can you just talk about how it feels to be drafted by the New York Yankees?

William Davis: To be drafted by a historic team and franchise such as the Yankees, it's very special to me.

PinstripesPlus.com: Were you surprised when the Yankees selected you, or had you talked?

Davis: We had talked a little bit down there in Tampa after I had worked out, and had some very positive talk with me, my dad, and the scouting director. We felt good about coming into today. It's just a really big positive for me.

PinstripesPlus.com: Can you talk about the nickname (Rookie)?

Davis: That's been my name since I was born. I've never been called William or Will or anything like that, it's always been Rookie. My dad gave it to me when I was born. I got a feeling I may have to tweak it once I get into the big leagues, it's a name – ya know Rookie Davis from Baseball Lane – that's got a pretty good ring to it, so it's one of those things that's stuck with me.

PinstripesPlus.com: Have you heard anything about the Yankees' farm system and organization? Do you have any idea about what you're going into?

Davis: Yes sir. I know they're a great franchise in developing their players and developing their pitchers. And they're first class the whole way. We've known that the area scout, he's a great guy, he's a first class guy and he represents them in a way they should be represented. They're the leading franchise in all sports, and for them to select me in the draft, I'm gonna do what I can to keep up my end of that deal and hopefully I'll be wearing pinstripes in Yankee Stadium one day.

PinstripesPlus.com: Can you talk about your make-up as a pitcher? What speeds and what movement do you have on all your pitches?

Davis: I throw a four-seam fastball, a two-seam fastball, a curveball and a circle changeup. My four-seam fast ball I'll pitch comfortably at about 90-93, I can get it up to 94-95 when I need to, but I pitch comfortably in that range. My two-seam fastball, I'm still developing that pitch a little bit, as well as my curveball. I'd say my changeup is my second best pitch, it's probably in the high 70s, maybe 77 to 80. But the makeup I have as a pitcher is I'm gonna come at you. Since I've been a two-way player in high school and in showcases, I haven't been able to devote my full attention to pitching. But I'm hoping that when I get down there with the really great instructors that they have, that I'll develop my velocity more and become more of a power pitcher and go at people and see what happens.

PinstripesPlus.com: What do you think the biggest improvement that still needs to be made is?

Davis: I'd say mechanics. I do have above average mechanics from what the area scout has told me. But mechanics ties into everything. You've gotta get your body working in sequence and any little thing can throw that off. Just trying to figure where I can repeat my delivery and have my mechanics set is the biggest thing right now I can improve on and learning how to use my whole body pitching.

PinstripesPlus.com: Can you talk about who your favorite MLB player and team have been growing up?

Davis: Growing up, I was a really big Cal Ripken Jr. fan. He played there in Baltimore and I got to see some games. Just the way he approached the game every day, doing what he had to do to be in the lineup that day. He really instilled some values in me like doing everything you can and be the best player you can and go 100 percent. He's the baseball Iron Man. I've never really had a favorite team, growing up I followed the main players I tried to model my game after a little bit - Alex Rodriguez, and I was a big Roger Clemens fan matter of fact. He's a bulldog on the mound. I was more of a player follower than a team follower.

PinstripesPlus.com: Who would you compare your stuff to at the MLB level?

Davis: That's kinda hard to say. I've never really thought about it. The area Yankee guy said that I reminded him a lot of Clemens, the way that I pitch. Like I said, I try to model myself after him. I'm not saying I'm going to be a hall of famer, but the delivery that we both have and the way we go at hitters, I'd say probably like that.

PinstripesPlus.com: What's been your best moment in baseball so far?

Davis: There are two things that really stick out to me. One was playing for the state championship, we eventually lost in three games in extra innings, but just being able to be in that playoff atmosphere with my teammates and my coaches and my family and fans from Dixon. That was a really big moment for me. And playing in the Under Armour All American Game. That was amazing. Just being there in Wrigley Field with some of the top guys in the country. Those are two things that really stick out to me that I'll always remember just like I'll always remember today and being a Yankee.

PinstripesPlus.com: Can you talk about signing with the Yankees and starting to play minor league ball?

Davis: I've heard about the Yankees for a long time: the way that they are and the way they take care of their players and the way the fans are and I hope I'm there for a long time and possibly have a career there. I went to Yankee Stadium when I was 12 or 13 to watch a game and just to see the fans embrace the players; they were so passionate about the game and that's what I want to be around and that's what I want to play for. Like I said, I hope I can have a career there but ya know, God has a plan and whatever his plan is for me, that's what I'm gonna do. Maybe that'll be in pinstripes for a long time.

PinstripesPlus.com: I believe you're a commitment to East Carolina, is that going to come into play here?

Davis: You know, I have a tremendous amount of respect for Coach Godwin and the coaching staff up there and I feel pretty good about it right now, the pro aspect of it I mean. But we're just going to have to wait and see with what develops during the Summer and go from there. That's really all we can do right now.

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