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Top MLB Draft Pick From Westchester Signs Deal With Pirates For $6.5M

Fox Lane baseball coach Matt Hillis and Henry Davis on the night he was drafted. Photo Credit: Contributed
Henry Davis Photo Credit: University of Louisville

A former high school baseball star in the Hudson Valley, is in a new tax bracket after signing his rookie deal to join the Pittsburgh Pirates as the first overall pick in the MLB Draft.

Henry Davis, a Northern Westchester native who lettered for four years as a catcher at Fox Lane High School in Bedford, made it official and signed for $6.5 million on Sunday, July 18, one week after being chosen first overall.

“Getting signed right away, it's important to me," Davis said at PNC Park after signing. "I want to get playing. There's no time to waste, really. Making the most of it, getting right to work, I'm pretty happy about how it went.”

Davis agreed to a signing bonus of $6.5 million, well below the $8.4 million slot value of the first overall pick, which allowed the Pirates to spread their draft capital across the team’s other 20 picks.

“As Henry said, we're excited but probably not surprised that we could get in here and get it done this quickly," Pirates General Manager Ben Cherington said on Sunday. "We know Henry wants to get out and get after it.”

Davis was with Fox Lane baseball coach Matt Willis when his name was announced by MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred on Draft night, though they had to play coy on the draft floor until the Pirates made it official.

“Henry knew the Pirates had picked him about an hour and a half before but couldn’t tell anyone,” Hillis said. “We got down to the draft floor about 15 minutes before the start.

“The commissioner of baseball came over, introduced himself to everybody and we saw that we were sitting in the front row so we were a little tipped off that something really cool was going to happen.”

The 2018 Fox Lane graduate became the first number one draft pick from Westchester since B.J. Surhoff was chosen by the Milwaukee Brewers in 1985.

“I’m excited,” Davis said in an interview with MLB Network. “I’m a hard worker, I want to win. I’m a competitor. I’m going to do everything I can to get this organization to where it needs to be.”

Hillis made note that Davis was drawing the attention of scouts while he was still at Fox Lane, though the chatter quieted down when he committed to attend the University of Louisville.

“I always felt he was the most ultra-competitive, hardworking player I’ve ever had,” Hillis said. “He has characteristics that were obviously going to set him up for success in this life: he’s super intelligent, driven, talented.

“If you throw those things into an individual, they are probably going to be successful at any job. But when it comes to the highly competitive world of professional sports, it’s exactly what he needed to get where he is.”

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