Davidson named Futures Game MVP after big homer
Third baseman prefers to share honor with friend, shortstop prospect Owings
NEW YORK -- Matt Davidson didn't even think he belonged here. Then he walked away with the Larry Doby Most Valuable Player Award for the 2013 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game.
Davidson's two-run homer in the bottom of the fourth inning put the U.S. Team ahead en route to a 4-2 victory at Citi Field. The Diamondbacks third-base prospect, ranked as the Diamondbacks' No. 2 prospect and No. 62 overall on MLB.com's Top 100 Prospects list, was surprised by how things unfolded because he didn't initially think he was the infielder from his organization who deserved to come to New York in the first place.
"I was having an OK year," Davidson said. "But Chris has been going off. He's been killing it. He deserved it.
"When I found out, I was kind of surprised, because he is having a great year. I was surprised and I was almost a little mad that he wasn't coming. I was like, 'Man, he deserves this more than I do.'"
Chris is Chris Owings, No. 4 on the Diamondbacks' Top 20, and sometimes things have a way of working out. When the Mariners called up Brad Miller and another United States shortstop was needed, Owings was the obvious choice to replace him. That certainly made Davidson happy and allowed him to enjoy winning MVP honors that much more.
It also fulfilled the complete picture of the dream the two infielders had. The pair was playing in the Class A Advanced California League together in 2011 when they saw the Futures Game played at Chase Field, the big league park they hope to call home soon. They then added attending the game as a left side of the infield tandem to their bucket list.
"That was huge thing for him and for us," Davidson said. "We room together. We're really good friends and we've come up together. It kind of completed us. Our goal was to play in that game on the left side together. It finally came true a couple of years later."
Together didn't exactly happen. Davidson went first, playing the first four innings and leaving after hitting that pivotal two-run homer. Facing A's prospect Michael Ynoa, Davidson was looking for one thing and one thing only, but he was able to make the necessary adjustment based on the situation.
"This whole game, you have to sit on your fastball," Davidson said. "You have guys throwing 95-plus [mph] and they have good offspeed stuff, so you have to pick one or the other. I was sitting dead-red fastball. The first one he got in on me a little bit. Then the next pitch, I'm going to stick with the fastball. He shook a couple of times, so I'm thinking the catcher is trying to throw something offspeed. He hung a changeup and it kind of ran into my barrel."
Then came Owings' turn. He entered the game in the fifth inning, and while he himself wasn't an MVP candidate after going 0-for-2, he did make a number of fine plays in the field and was a part of turning three double plays over the course of the game's final four innings. An argument could be made, then, that Owings' glove helped cement Davidson's MVP win by helping to ensure that lead held up.
"I wish we could've played side by side, but he made some great defensive plays," Davidson said. "We're always looking out for each other."
The dynamic duo isn't done, either. They will head back to Reno, their current Minor League home, for the Triple-A All-Star Game. Davidson is participating in the home run derby there on Monday night, then both will actually be side by side for that All-Star contest.
"We've kind of had two things [we thought about], when we were looking ahead," Owings said. "One was the Futures Game. Another is starting the Triple-A All-Star Game in Reno. I think that's pretty awesome.
"You want to be here. And he deserves to be here, too. It's cool to have done it with a buddy."
Davidson said he needed to take a little time to let the whole experience sink in. But there was one thing he was certain of: he definitely wanted to share the honor, and the trophy, for being MVP with his teammate.
"We'll put it on the mantel in our apartment in Reno," Davidson said.