By: Jessica Patton
Canadian Baseball Network
There were two signs at the Rogers Centre on Thursday and they were both for Cooper Davis.
The 16-year-old centre fielder is no stranger to the Tournament 12; suiting up for Ontario Green this week marks his third appearance in the showcase and he had a small fan club of family and friends there to support him.
“He came in as a young 14-year-old and once you do this a few times, the wow factor begins to wear off and you are able to focus more on executing and showcasing your skills,” said Cooper’s father Ted.
After a slow start in the first game against Ontario Black, Davis found his offence registering three hits including the first home run of the tournament against British Columbia Wednesday afternoon.
“It’s good to show the scouts that I have power also and that I am not all speed,” said Davis when asked about the homer. “I can do both sides.”
Speed however is his best asset and it’s been something that has been put on display all week. Davis led the pack in the 60-yard dash on Monday for the second year in a row registering a 6.35.
“His speed is above-average,” said his Ontario Green coach Greg O’Halloran after their comeback tie against Alberta to solidify a spot in the playoffs. “When you have speed like his playing center field, you can cover a lot of ground.”
The Mississauga, Ont. native’s quick feet has also helped him on the offensive side in the form of forcing errors and stealing four bases at the event.
“It’s a showcase tournament, so we want to show these coaches and scouts what we can do,” said Davis. “That’s tailored to my game (stealing bases) and shows my speed.”
On top of his impressive showing at Tournament 12, Davis also announced late Wednesday his commitment to Vanderbilt University in Nashville Tennessee.
“I was able to commit to Vanderbilt because they have an amazing baseball and academic program,” said Davis. “Everything kind of came together, so it was perfect.”
Though his father did say Vanderbilt was his son’s first choice, the decision to commit wasn’t an easy one.
“He’d been talking to a lot of schools the past four or five months,” said his father. “He had some very strong schools that put some really good programs in front of him but I think the Vanderbilt one really lit up his eyes."
And his father wasn’t the only one showing his son his support; Davis woke up Thursday morning to a tweet from none other than Blue Jays all-star pitcher David Price congratulating him on his commitment.
“That was amazing, it was really cool,” said Davis. “First thing I did was call my brother and let him know-he was going nuts too so it was pretty crazy.”
Davis and his Ontario Green team made the Tournament 12 semifinals but fell to the eventual champion, Prairies Purple.