MLB Draft 2021: Pirates No. 1 overall pick Henry Davis had to keep pretty massive secret


DENVER — On the largest day of his baseball profession, Henry Davis needed to do just a bit bit extra work earlier than listening to his identify known as within the MLB Draft.

He needed to maintain a secret. 

A pair minutes previous 5 p.m. native time on the stage of the Bellco Theatre, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred — after ready for the boos to subside — introduced that the Pirates had been taking Davis because the No. 1 general decide of the 2021 MLB Draft. The decide wasn’t beautiful, however it was at the least a bit stunning.

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Louisville’s star catcher was identified to be within the normal dialog at 1-1, however most mock drafts main as much as the occasion had the Pirates taking prep shortstop Marcelo Mayer. Davis was most frequently within the 3-to-5 vary. 

Davis wasn’t shocked to listen to his identify known as, although. 

“I knew like an hour in the past,” he admitted, with an enormous grin, to a handful of reporters backstage.

Holding a secret like which may not look like an enormous ask, till you contemplate how many individuals Davis interacted with in that hour. The ambiance close to the stage main as much as the printed was, for instance, jovial. He did an interview on MLB Community. He shook arms and made small speak in that hour. All people chatting, all people smiling. He was removed from sequestered. 

However Davis saved his secret, that nugget shared with him by his agent. He did finally inform his household, lastly. 

“After I obtained the double-double, the one hundred pc (affirmation),” he mentioned. “Simply seeing the emotion on their face was tremendous particular. I would not be right here with out the folks on that row.”

And, yeah, after they may share that emotion free from the burden of secrecy? Even higher. Truly, all Davis actually needed to do was to maintain from providing up the knowledge, as a result of the small chat with all these folks stayed simply that: small chat. 

No one requested if he knew the place he’d be taken. 

“I do not know if that is simply them being extraordinarily respectful, understanding so much’s happening,” Davis mentioned. “However folks round me are superb. I am unable to reiterate that sufficient.” 

And now, he is the No. 1 general decide. Pirates GM Ben Cherington gave him the official welcome with a telephone name.

“You set targets. You wish to be 1-1 as a child,” Davis mentioned. “You develop up dreaming of moments like this. Lot of laborious work’s gone into it. Lot of individuals have contributed.”

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Davis’ circle of individuals round him simply expanded in Pittsburgh. 

“It is superior. I simply instructed him, in 2004, I used to be the eleventh general decide in 2004 as a catcher by the Pirates, so I do know a few of the feelings he is going by,” former Pirates star Neil Walker, who was there as Pittsburgh’s workforce draft consultant, instructed Sporting Information. “However clearly he is the No. 1 decide, and we did not have something like this.”

Walker, it seems, was there taking part in two roles. He was the Pirates’ consultant, and he was Pittsburgh’s Jon Snow. 

“I knew nothing,” he mentioned with fun. “I do not suppose they trusted me to maintain it near the vest. I did know there have been a handful of men being thought of, like all people else, however I used to be sitting there on pins and needles ready. I knew nothing!

“That is thrilling. As any person who grew up taking part in in Pittsburgh and lives within the space, that is the sort of man I feel can really be a generational participant for us.”


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