Mike Davis, who batted in the vicinity of .400 for the Phoenixville Area High School Phantoms and the American Legion squad for manager Jack Sturgeon during the summer, is a freshman with the Hawks.
His baseball prowess is the reason he has been chosen as The Phoenix Male Athlete of the Year for 2003.
Davis was a southpaw pitcher for the Phantoms and first baseman/outfielder. He was picked for the Carpenter Cup team that won the annual tournament at Veterans Stadium. In college, however, it appears he will be stationed in the outfield, probably in center, for the Division I Hawks.
Davis participated in fall ball for a month and then made the St. Joseph's team after two weeks of tryouts. He joins veteran second baseman and leadoff batter Jason Tarewicz (Chester Springs, St. Pius X) as local members of the collegiate squad.
"As a freshman I might be able to step in and play center field," Davis said. "Hopefully, I will. That is why I played center field in Legion to get ready for it. I knew I was going to play it down there."
Davis hit for power and line drives for average with the Phantoms. But the Hawks would like him to concentrate on hitting into the gaps and use more of his speed to their advantage.
"There are only two or three lefties on the whole team," Davis said. "The bats could really be hopeful."
The Hawks play in the Atlantic 10 Conference, where Richmond is the favorite. St. Joseph's, which has a young team this year, finished third in the Eastern Division last year and just missed the playoffs. The Hawks hope to alter that scenario this season.
"We only have three or four seniors," Davis said. "We have 13 freshmen and 10 sophomores. We are talented but inexperienced."
Davis is looking forward to traveling with the diamond Hawks. St. Joseph's will play at Virginia Commonwealth on St. Valentine's Day and then travel to play Stetson in Florida the following week. Later on the Hawks make another trip to Florida.
"We have two trips down there," Davis said. "That will be a good experience for me."
Sturgeon thinks Davis should have a fine career in college based on the work ethic he displayed during his Phoenixville years.
"He (Davis) was pretty much of a leader as a hitter and one of our main pitchers," Sturgeon said. "He did a real good job all the way around.
"He went down there as an outfielder. He is a hard worker and I am sure he will put the time in to convert to the position. He should have a good career down there."
Davis was always considered one of Phoenixville's better hitters throughout his years in youth and Babe Ruth ball.
"Throughout his career he had a high average," Sturgeon said. "I would classify him as a good gap hitter. His strong suit was being able to be consistent throughout his career. He got on base two or three times a game. He was a leader who would take a walk as much as a basehit, depending on what the game dictated."
Davis entered college undecided on a major field of study. Now he has decided to concentrate on a marketing curriculum.