(DRAFT 2020) — The 2020 Bull League draft pre-selection has commenced and with their first overall pick the Dallas Deputies have selected Jonathan Davis, a pitcher and potential two-way player as a second baseman out of the NCAA Indiana Hoosiers.
Bull League scouts have had mixed but generally positive views on the right-hander from New York City, who won a College World Series in 2018 and was named College Player of the Year in 2019.
He throws three pitches, a cutter, a slider and a changeup, with his velo approaching 98 mph on the cut fastball. In 12 college starts, he struck out 12 or more batters, including 16 K’s twice in 2019, one less than the record of 17 held by Seminoles southpaw Josh Moore.
Davis finished his NCAA career with a 16-12 record, a 3.61 ERA, and 352 strikeouts in 4 seasons, including two Summer College Tournament appearances for Team USA.
As a second baseman, he played 83 games at that position, with 67 of them starts. His college career batting average is .273, but 2019 was a best college career season with a .324 average and 25 walks, giving him an OPS of .960. He has demonstrated his athleticism with speed on the base paths as well, with 13 career steals.
Generally, however, Davis is considered more valuable as a pitcher than a position player, and would likely be used full-time in a bullpen, or eventually as a starter.
One red flag though has been his propensity for getting injured. So far he has had just day-to-day injuries, but a succession of throwing hand injuries caused issues through the 2020 season leading to questions about his future as a reliable starter.
Davis is said to be looking to sign a bonus in the $7 million range, which would make him the highest-paid first overall pick in Bull League draft history. The previous highest bonus was $6.6 million to Ben Price, who was selected 1st overall in the 2017 draft by the Battle Creek Attack (now Milwaukee Hops). Price is currently at A-level Calf League with the Grand Rapids Frontiersmen.