07/13/2011 10:54 PM
BREWSTER, Mass—It was a phone call Whitecaps’ skipper Tom Myers had been expecting for a week.
Junior catcher Taylor Davis (Morehead State), the leading figure in Brewster’s lineup and defensively a stronghold at backstop, had signed a contract with the Chicago Cubs. The Whitecaps would have to do without him for the rest of the season.
“I figured it was probably in the works because he was performing at such a high level,” said Myers. “We’re all very proud of him. He came here to prove that he’s very much worth playing at the next level. It’s bittersweet. We’d love to have had him for the rest of the year.”
The 5’10 Jupiter, Florida native has been neck and neck with fellow batting leader Victor Roache (Georgia Southern), a Cotuit Kettleer, for the summer. He leaves the league with an enviable .375 average, 27 hits, 13 RBI, and two home runs.
Ironically, Davis’s swing is, as he puts it, “a concoction of things a hitting coach tells you not to do. I move my hands a lot, I have a really high leg kick, and I step out, so everything a coach tells you not to do, I pretty much do.”
But like Bourne Braves alumnus and Red Sox strong man Kevin Youklis’s distinctive stance at the plate, it works.
“(Davis) has the ability to keep his hands back when guys throw off speed pitches,” said Myers, “so for him to hit whatever he’s hitting right now is a testament to his swing, and he knows how to handle pitches.”
Perhaps his most impressive trait behind the plate is his ability to call games, a characteristic that impressed the scouting directors as much as his batting average.
For Davis, the experience to play on the Cape was one of a lifetime. “It was definitely a goal of mine growing up just to come up here play well, and I feel that I did that,” he said, and “seeing this pitching, this is better pitching than I’d see till I get a couple levels up in pro ball. That helped me prepare for what I’m about to get into. I’m really excited. I’m ready to go start playing.”
And to those he left behind on the fields and those in years to come, Davis had some sound advice.
“Just have fun, don’t stress yourselves too much,” he said. “A lot of guys come up here and stress themselves. The fact that you’re up here means that you’re going to be seen. You can come up here and be terrible and it’s still better than going somewhere else and playing.“