The Cincinnati Reds drafted Noah Davis in the 11th round of the 2018 Major League Baseball draft. But he wouldn’t pitch that season as a professional. Earlier in the spring the right-handed pitcher would undergo Tommy John surgery after injuring his elbow while pitching at UC Santa Barbara.
When the 2019 season began in April, Noah Davis was still working his way back from his March 2018 operation. He didn’t pitch in May, either. But when rookie-league began following the 2019 draft, he was ready to begin his rehab in games and joined the Arizona League Reds.
On June 22nd he would make his first professional appearance, throwing a shutout inning with a strikeout. He returned to the mound on July 2nd with a perfect inning. The next two outings were a bit of a struggle as he allowed 10 hits, seven runs, and four homers in 3.0 combined innings. But he rebounded well on July 22nd with 3.0 shutout innings with three strikeouts – wrapping up his time with the Arizona League Reds.
After five starts with the Reds back at the complex level, Noah Davis joined the Billings Mustangs on July 28th. The right-handed starter embraced his promotion with 4.0 shutout innings of work with four strikeouts against Missoula. He followed that up with three straight starts where he allowed just one earned run, all in games where he threw 4.0 innings.
The best start of the year, and I guess his career, came on August 19th against Idaho Falls. Davis was dominant against the Chukars in their ballpark, allowing just two hits and a walk over 5.0 shutout innings that also came with a career best eight strikeouts. The next two starts would be the worst of his time with the Mustangs – though that speaks to just how good he was. In both starts he allowed just two earned runs, while throwing 4.1 and 4.0 innings. He would close out the regular season on September 4th by allowing a run over 5.0 innings against Missoula.
For all 2019 Season Reviews and Scouting Reports – click here (these will come out during the week throughout the offseason).
Noah Davis Scouting Report
Position: Right-handed pitcher | B/T: R/R
Height: 6′ 2″ | Weight: 195 lbs | Drafted: 11th Round, 2018
Born: April 22, 1997
Fastball | In 2019 the pitch worked in the low 90’s with good movement, topping out at 95.
Slider | The pitch will flash plus, and is above-average a large majority of the time.
Curveball | A solid offering that can be an average pitch.
Change Up | An inconsistent pitch that is currently a below-average offering, but could be an average pitch in the future.
There’s a lot to like with Noah Davis. He came back from Tommy John surgery and after getting back into the flow of things, he dominated the Pioneer League for the Billings Mustangs. With his fastball and his slider, he could have to above-average offerings to go with two average offerings in the future.
With that said, there are still some things to keep an eye on. Coming back from Tommy John, understandably, Noah Davis was limited in his usage. But he only pitched five full innings twice in 13 games. He’s handled a starters workload in college – so there’s a reason to think he can continue to do so, but until he does it after the surgery, it’s at least a small question he needs to answer moving forward.
The slider is his best offering – it’s got good biting action to it and is a swing-and-miss offering. But there were times this season where he struggled to throw it in or near the zone. That’s understandable, of course, given that he was coming back from the injury and had not pitched in over a year. But it will be something to keep an eye on, as more advanced hitters won’t chase it as far out of the zone as the ones he faced in the Pioneer League in 2019 did. His change up is still a bit firm, but the pieces are there to believe it can become an average offering in the future with more development.
Interesting Stat on Noah Davis
He clamped down in a big way with runners on base. Over 66 plate appearances with runners on against him, hitters posted a .186/.258/.288 line against him on the season.
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