Rookie Ball CF Hits Pair of Homers as Late Sub

21-year-old Jonah Davis says 'it's what I have been dreaming of'

Jeff Hathhorn
March 21, 2019 - 5:45 pm

93.7 the Fan

BRADENTON, FL (93.7 the Fan) – A late substitution for Starling Marte in center, 21-year-old rookie ball player Jonah Davis hit a pair of home runs in a 7-5 Pirates win over the Orioles.  And the 5’10”, 181 pound Davis called the shot.

“After that first pitch was a ball, my initial thought was ‘let’s hit a homer run right here’ and it was right there for me,” Davis said.

“It’s what I have been dreaming of for 21 years now.  It was an awesome feeling.  I pretty much blacked out running around the bases.  I remember at third he told me to tip my helmet a little bit.  I remembered the second time around.”

“I never lose sight of it, I get goose-bumps for these kids every time,” manager Clint Hurdle said.  “I’m watching these kids do things that are the coolest things they’ve done in a professional uniform.  I love it.”

Hurdle said he had Davis still hitting second because didn’t want to shuffle the lineup right before the game.

“As soon as I walk out there, they tell me I’m hitting two for Starling,” Davis said.  “A lot of expectations to live up to with him out there (in centerfield) and Cutch used be playing out there.  I was really excited to get out there and had a lot of fun.”

Asked if he had even met Davis before Thursday afternoon’s game, starter Chris Archer told us.

“No, I didn’t even realize that Marte wasn’t playing until he stepped up to the plate.  Hit that first homer and then hit that second homer.  I’m really happy for the kid, really, really happy for him.  It’s got to be surreal for him, but it’s got to show him what is possible.”

And Davis said this will give him a lot of confidence for whatever level in the minors the Pirates start him at this year.  Last season at Bristol in the Appalachian League, Davis hit 12 homers in 206 at bats driving in 34 runs while hitting .306.

No matter where this takes him, the New York native had a special afternoon with the big-leaguers.

“It was surreal,” Davis said.  “I grew up a Yankees fan, so being on the same field with Melky (Cabrera) and (Francisco) Cervelli.  First person I saw when I walked in after the first home run, Cervelli was giving me a high-five.  That was an awesome feeling right there.”

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