TRM’s Davis signs with UAB baseball
Despite not being able to play his senior season due to Tommy John surgery, former T.R. Miller Tiger baseball athlete Kyle Davis recently signed a scholarship to play college baseball at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).
Davis said it is a great honor to sign a college scholarship with UAB and to be able to continue his college education.
“There is a list of reasons why I chose UAB,” Davis said. “They have a great coaching staff made up of very special people including Head Coach Brian Shoop, Pitching Coach Josh Hopper, and Hitting Coach/Recruiting Coordinator Perry Roth.”
Another reason Davis said he chose UAB is the opportunity to excel on the field and in the classroom.
“UAB has a proven track record of developing players and is a great academic environment,” he said. “ Also, I chose UAB because of my new teammates (returning players and this years recruiting class). I wanted to play Division 1 baseball against great competition, and Conference-USA provides the competition.
“I also wanted to stay fairly close to home, and attend an in-state college with an engineering program, and where my family can watch me play. Birmingham is great city, and I’ll have the opportunity to play in a pro setting at Region’s field, which is the home of the Birmingham Barons. UAB plays two-thirds of their home games at Region’s Field.”
Davis, who signed as a pitcher with the chance to be a two-way guy will have the opportunity to play a position and hit when not pitching, tore his UCL against Opp in the second round of the 2014 AHSAA State Playoffs—his junior season.
“I did not want to miss my senior football season, so after talking to Dr. James Andrews, we decided to postpone my surgery until December,” Davis said. “UCL Reconstruction Surgery (Tommy John Surgery) is fairly common now days, but there is a year long recovery process. You are out of the game for a full year. The recovery process consists of four months of physical therapy, four months of a structured throwing program, and four months of structured bullpens until you are allowed to pitch in a live game. The throwing program and bullpens increase both the number of throws/pitches and the intensity of each throw over time.”
They delay in the surgery caused Davis to miss his senior baseball season in 2015.
“It was very difficult and frustrating to miss my senior baseball season,” he said. “I wish that I could have played this year. It was Coach Hart’s last season and we had a great team. I really wanted to play this year considering all that Coach Hart has done for me and my brother Kevin. I am currently a little over seven months post UCL surgery, and everything is going great. I have completed the throwing program outlined by Dr. Andrews, and I have started throwing bullpens.”
Davis said he is blessed to have the chance to play college baseball even though I did not play my senior year of high school.
“I have never doubted that I would return to mound next year, but I did not know at what level. Coach Hopper, UAB’s Pitching coach, saw me pitch several times during summer ball after my ninth and 10th grade years. It’s good to know that even though I missed playing baseball last summer and my senior year of high school, the coaching staff at UAB still believes in me.”
Davis was playing in the Perfect Game 18U World Wood Bat Association tournament in Atlanta when he met Hopper and they met again this summer. UAB had some late scholarship opportunities come available when they had three pitchers sign pro contracts following this years MLB draft. Davis said he had a great conversation with Coach Hopper on a Saturday, and took an official visit to UAB the following Thursday. After the touring the campus and facilities, and meeting with Coach Shoop and Coach Hopper, he knew that UAB was where I wanted to attend school next year.
“When James Naile and Adam Lau both signed professional contracts in June, we were scrambling to bolster our pitching staff,” Shoop said. “We were thrilled to find Kyle Davis still available and looking for an opportunity. Before his injury, Kyle was the number one prospect in Alabama as rated by Perfect Game. With the vast majority of pitchers returning as strong or stronger after Tommy John surgery, Kyle is a tremendous addition to our team. When healthy, Kyle has an electric fastball and a power breaking pitch. He has the potential to be a front line rotation pitcher.”
“Like Adam Lau, Kyle also has the real potential to be a two-way player at UAB,” Shoop added. “We have a great track record of players both hitting and pitching. The ball explodes off of Kyle’s bat and we are excited about the opportunity that Kyle will have to impact our lineup as well as our pitching staff.”
Davis said he is very excited to be a UAB Blazer.
“I plan to play baseball and study Engineering at UAB,” he said. “My goals are to stay healthy, continue to get better and develop my baseball skills, do well in the classroom, and help the team to win as much as I can. I want the team to win, and however I can help that happen is fine with me. I want to thank God, my parents, my brother Kevin, all my coaches and teachers at T.R. Miller, all my friends, and everyone in the community that has helped me along the way. They all have played a very important part in me getting here.”
Davis lettered four years in football and baseball, under the direction of baseball head coach Jim Hart and football coach Jamie Riggs. He also played three years of elite summer baseball for East Cobb and one year for Bases Loaded Team Alabama.
Davis also earned All-State Honorable Mention honors on the gridiron following the 2013 campaign.