Braves Tucker Davisdson – photo credit Jeff Morris (@JeffMorrisAB)
Tucker Davidson is a 22-year-old southpaw out of Amarillo, TX who last year went from a relatively unknown 19th round pick in the 2016 Draft to putting himself in the same conversation as his draft class mates Ian Anderson, Joey Wentz, Bryse Wilson and Kyle Muller last season when he burst onto the scene mid season as a starter in Rome. His fastball velocity ticked up and the former JUCO product posted excellent numbers in the SALLY – 102.1 IP, 2.60 ERA, 101 K, 30 BB, 1.22 WHIP, 2.97 FIP. He also picked up the save for the Braves against the Future Stars Wednesday night 3/28, working a scoreless frame. I of course asked him about those numbers and his velocity change but first we had some fun…
Jeff Jones – Tucker, thanks for taking time out of your schedule to do this interview. I’ll get to the baseball stuff first but since you’ve been in Minors Spring camp with all the guys I figured I’d start out with some fun rapid fire questions first.
Best/Worst Fortnite Player?
TD – Best- Sal Giardina
TD – Worst- Kyle Muller
Walk up song planned out when you get to Double-A?
Loud and Heavy- Cody Jink
Texas BBQ or the field?
Is everything in fact bigger in Texas?
Without a doubt. Amarillo, TX, where I’m from, has a restaurant the Big Texan with a 72 oz. steak challenge.
Ok time to get to the nitty gritty, baseball stuff. How old were you when you started playing and when did you convert to pitching?
I started playing baseball when I was 4 years old. I started pitching around 9-years-old. But didn’t get very serious about it till sophomore year of high school. I actually wanted to play college football throughout high school. I was the quarterback. I didn’t focus just on baseball till college.
The first time I saw you pitch was at Instructionals in 2016 and one of the coaches mentioned you had 4 pitches and it caught my attention do you mind breaking down your arsenal?
I mainly throw a 4-seam fastball, a curveball and change up. I had a slider that I still work on and will throw to leftys but I prefer my curveball due to the speed change. I like to turn my slider into a cutter hybrid like Kershaw throws.
You went from being a 19th round pick topping out at 93 in college to being ranked as a prospect on national lists touching 96. Anything you credit to the uptick in stuff?
Drivelines weighted balls. I started using them in college and the velo went up a little bit. Once I got drafted I was excited to be able to train and really focus on increasing velocity. I think training, doing baseball specific lifts, working on being explosive and mobility helped tremendously.
What do you enjoy doing outside of baseball?
I love playing golf but I’m terrible. I’m currently caught up in this Fortnite addiction, which 80% of the organization is also.
Saw you were Connor McDavid for Halloween. Are you a hockey guy? What’s your team?
I am a hockey guy. I grew up a Dallas Stars fan with Mike Modano, but I found Connor McDavid on YouTube before he got drafted. He then became my favorite player.
Thanks again for doing this interview. Anything you want to say to Braves fans?
There’s a lot of talent in this organization, and the years to come are going to be really fun.
Also I highly recommend checking out this Baseball America piece on Tucker Davidson written by the always excellent J.J. Cooper.