Mason Davis, the 19th round draft pick of the Miami Marlins in 2014, is currently playing for the Jupiter Hammerheads in the Florida State League (Class-A High). The switch hitting second baseman is slashing .286/ .347/ .403 with 32 runs scored, 20 RBI and 2 homeruns in 54 games this season. He has also stolen 10 bases in 13 attempts.
Davis started the 2017 season in Greensboro of the South Atlantic League (Class-A Low) and was promoted to Jupiter on June 26th. In 23 games with Jupiter he is slashing a solid .333/ .402/ .437 with 5 RBI while stealing 5 bases in 8 attempts.
I first wrote about Davis in my profile of Cedric Mullins (Bowie Baysox) GBSA baseball brothers (you can read it here). As with some of the players I profiled in that piece, I recently had the opportunity to have a conversation with Davis. What follows is that conversation.
How would you assess your pro career so far? “I feel great about how my career is going so far. I’ve had some minor set backs with my hip surgery and injuries leading up to the surgery. But now I’m feeling great about my health and I’m happy that I’m still able to go out on the field every day and play hard. It was a little frustrating in 2015 with me trying to play when I wasn’t 100 percent. Me coming from college and playing every day I didn’t know how to really tell someone I wasn’t feeling myself. Having gone through that type of injury has taught me to not be afraid to speak up for myself. When you’re playing hurt and no one knows they may make an assessment based on the way you’re playing at the moment. So I’m not afraid to let someone know now.”
What was your “welcome to professional baseball” moment? “I would probably say my first hit as a professional. But my favorite moment to date would have to be back in 2014. I was playing in Batavia in short season. I suffered a broken nose during practice and I had to miss a week before I could play because I needed a mask. I got this ugly plastic mask and they put me in the lineup against the Phillies organization. I hit a walk off homerun in the bottom of the 11 with 2 outs. Before then I had never had a walk off homerun in my life.”
Is there an aspect of your game that you are looking to improve? “I am always looking to improve every single aspect of my game. I feel like I can improve everywhere. My biggest would be stealing bases. I feel like that would add a lot more value to me as a player. I’m also working every day to master every position on the field because I have been moving around throughout my career; from 2B, SS, and 3B to every outfield position.”
Is there a player you look up to? “If I were to choose one player I would have to say Andrew McCutchen. I love how hard he works and how he leaves everything out on the field day in and day out. People were doubting him and he continues to prove people wrong. I love that about him.”
How did playing for #GBSA prepare you for this stage of your professional career? “Well if anyone has met Rob Cope then (they) would know that playing for him is awesome. He isn’t the type of person/coach to sugarcoat anything. He will tell you what you are supposed to do or the things you need to work on; that has helped me throughout my career rather than someone babying me and telling me everything will be ok. He has made me take that extra step to push myself. Growing up, my dad has always told me that I will have to work extremely hard if I want to be successful and Rob has helped reiterate that.”
Mr. Phelps has called you, along with Armond Upshaw and Cedric Mullins, a mentor to the
#GBSA players. How does that make you feel? “It’s an honor to know that I have younger players who look up to me as I did the players older than me when I was their age. When I play I make it a big part of my image to make the kids feel special and make sure they know I care about their support and input.”
Who has had the most influence in your life? “My dad has had the biggest influence on my life and I can also say my career. My father played NFL football for only a couple years and throughout my life he has struggled a lot with things like finding jobs and what not but he has always found time to coach me and my younger sister in whatever sport we played and he’s been our greatest role model. That’s why when you asked me what player I look up to I really can’t say I look up to them. But they are my favorite player. My dad is who I look up to. I remember being scared to tell him I didn’t want to play football anymore but when I did he told me that whatever I want to do in life he will support and he will help me as much as he can.”
Any words of advice for young, aspiring ball players? “I would just have to say there’s always someone out there who wants to succeed just as much if not more than you do. So you have to make sure you are getting your work in day in and day out even when no one is watching! The worst thing you could ever say is “maybe if I would’ve done this I would be more successful.” You never want that to come out of your mouth. Make sure you give everything you have every time you step foot in your work place, whether it be the field, the weight room or even the kitchen. Good diets are a big thing when it comes to keeping your body and mind prepared for performance.”
I would like to thank Mason for taking the time out of his busy schedule to chat with me and to Mr. Eddie Phelps of the GBSA Rays for helping to facilitate the conversation.
The more I have the opportunity to talk to these players the more I am impressed with their personal maturity and integrity. Not only are they fine baseball players but they are outstanding young men as well. The GBSA Rays are certainly living up to their mission statement.