One of the biggest keys to being a successful pitcher is being able to command your fastball. This is an issue Davila seems to have. He throws from a ¾ arm angle. Guys that throw from that angle sometimes have issues staying linear and become rotational. When you get rotational you have a harder time controlling pitches, especially keeping the ball out of the hitting zone (DH). There are days when everything with your timing is perfect and you have really good outings. But the consistency is the issue. And Davila was no exception.
Garrett was a 4th round pick out of South Point High School in baseball rich North Carolina. He is part of the Royals 2015 draft class and it took an over slot bonus of almost $750,000 to lure him away from the University of Tennessee. Davila burst onto the prospect scene for the Royals during the 2016 season after going 7-0 with a 1.28 WHIP in Burlington. But 2017 was a different story as he struggled with his command and that WHIP slide up over 1.40. The worrisome part of this was that he hit 18 batters in 125 innings. His walk rate stayed the same at 3.7/9 but the K rate dropped from 7.6/9 in 2016 to 6.6/9 in 2017. Home runs were not really a problem as he only allowed one every 16.0 innings. There is a lot of potential in the 6’2” frame of Davila which allows him to work in the low 90s. Some more hard work in the weightroom should be the proper recipe for an increase in velocity as well as he is just 180 lbs and 20 years old.
Aside from the fastball, Davila throws a slurvy curve that has a lot of sideways movement. I would like to see him tighten that up and get a more consistent 1-7 movement than the 2-8 it can get too. This will also help him with getting the pitch down in the zone and keeping it off the hip and elbows of hitters. At times it is a great pitch that looks like the curve Alex Wood throws. Garrett also throws a CH. When he stays on top of the ball and doesn’t push it, the change has good armside run and sink. RHHs definitely had some issues with it as he will get multiple bad swings and misses from them.
All in all, you can say there is projection left in Davila. He has some solid potential and throws some really good pitches but it is going to come down to his ability to stay on top of the baseball and stay linear to the catcher’s target. A slight increase in velocity would really help giving him more room for error as he won’t have to be a finesse guy. Last year he did a lot of piggybacking with Jace Vines early and Nolan Watson late in the year. If I was the Royals, I’d keep Davila in Lexington hoping for an early season move to Wilmington after he proves to have tightened up the fastball command. However, with the logjam of talented pitchers trying to get into that Legends rotation, he may get bumped to Wilmington.
Photo Credits: Clinton Riddle