A 2011 fifth-round pick of the Rays out of Elk Grove, Davis turned down pro ball to attend play collegiately for the Titans. Three years later, MLB.com called him one of the better two-way talents in the Draft.
Davis said Friday the decision to turn down the Rays three years ago and attend Fullerton was one of the best moves he's ever made.
"Obviously, it was the competitive competition I saw at Fullerton," he said. "Traveling around and seeing other programs, traveling with teammates and getting that experience. It's made me grow up and become more mature."
|CS-Fullerton's J.D. Davis|
Davis was drafted as a third baseman, a position he played at Elk Grove and only occasionally at Fullerton. This year Davis played in right field. Matt Chapman, the Oakland A's top draft choice on Thursday, was the Titans' third baseman this season.
"They've already said they want me as a third baseman and want me to go up through the system as a third baseman," Davis said.
MLB Network analyst Jonathon Mayo said Davis was attractive to the Astors because his right-handed power is hard to ignore.
"He controls the strike zone well and could hit for a solid average to go with his pop, with almost all of his value as a position player coming from his bat," he said.
Davis admits that being drafted by Houston was a bit of a surprise particularly since his agent had been getting contacts during the first and second rounds from the Orioles, the White Sox, Diamondbacks and the Cubs.
"We were watching on TV last night and I didn't get picked but my agent was checking back and forth with me on which team was interested," he said. "It was a waiting game and then after a night of, well, feeling a bit bummed out, my agent said there were lots of teams interested. Then, sure enough, the Astros picked me and I didn't know there were going to."
He's home for a few days now but while playing at Dry Creek Golf Club Friday Davis told the Citizen he expects negotiations with the Astros will begin soon.
"The slot money (likely signing bonus offer) is $784,000 so we'll start there," Davis said. "They said 'We'll get back to negotiations in little while,' so I expect to have everything finished in a week or so."
There were 16 high schoolers and 18 college players taken in the opening round of the Draft. Davis suggests any high school senior drafted beyond the third or fourth round turns down the pro offer and goes to college to continue playing baseball.
"My advice to them is that unless the money is life-changing, money they can set aside to help them throughout their entire life, to stick to going to college," Davis advised. " I can tell them it was one of the best experiences in my life."
It's likely Davis will be sent to the Tri-Valley franchise in the New York/Penn League where he would be re-joined with Herd teammate Jake Rodriguez, a sixth round pick of the Astros last summer.
If needed, Davis is also a prospect as a pitcher in the pros. MLB.Com wrote, “Davis has power in his arm, too. As a reliever, he has worked at 92-94 mph with his fastball and 82-84 mph with his slider, and saw time this spring as Fullerton's closer.”
Also on day two of the Draft the Giants took Rocklin pitcher Logan Webb in the fourth round.
The Phillies took Rhys Hoskins, a Sacramento State first baseman and former Jesuit Marauder, in the next round, the fifth.
Rounds 11 through 40 will happen on Saturday.