By: Greg Levinsky
FALMOUTH – Potential 2019 Major League Baseball first-round draft picks and current Falmouth Commodores Logan Davidson and Matt Wallner are preparing to showcase their talents in front of a bevy of Major League teams at the Cape Cod League’s annual Fenway Park workout.
Recently minted as Baseball America’s fourth and 10th ranked college prospects for the 2019 draft, Davidson (Clemson), and Wallner (Southern Mississippi) hope to increase their stock during Monday’s event. Heading into their junior seasons at their respective universities, after which they become draft eligible, the duo is excited to put their skills on display.
“We’re really excited to showcase our skills show what we’ve got,” Davidson said.
Wallner said he’s taking a relaxed approach to the workout.
“I’m just going to go out there and do my thing, try not to make too much of it,” Wallner said. “Obviously it’s a huge opportunity to put your name out there and show what you can do.”
Commodores head coach Jeff Trundy, who has overseen various highly ranked prospects in his 20 season at the helm, said it’s a day where players showcase their skills in a surprisingly calm setting.
“It’s fun to see them going back to being 10, 12-years-old again,” Trundy said. “They get to Fenway, in that park that has so much history, it’s just a blast.
“If they get out there and have fun, their ability will show through.”
For the second time this summer, Davidson has a chance to demonstrate his tools in a non-traditional game setting. After competing at the College Home Run Derby, and breaking the record mark in the process, Davidson eyes another opportunity to impress.
Wallner joined the Commodores after a tryout with the US Collegiate National Team, where he nearly made the cut for the final 24-man roster.
Both feel they still have a lot to prove.
“I’m never done learning the game and getting better,” Davidson said. “I definitely feel like there’s a lot to learn, a lot to improve at.”
“Nothing’s happened yet so there’s no reason to project or anything like that,” Wallner said. “You never know what will happen come draft day.”
Davidson was named a first-team freshman All-American by D1Baseball as a freshman at Clemson. The switch-hitting shortstop batted .286 with 12 home runs and 42 RBIs. An All-ACC Freshman selection as well, Davidson joined the Commodores last summer for 38 games.
He enjoyed an improved campaign at Clemson this past spring. As a sophomore, Davidson earned a Baseball America Third Team All-American honor after he raised his average to .292 and belted 15 home runs to go with 46 RBIs. Davidson’s doubles mark jumped from nine to 18 as he raised his OPS from .861 to .952.
He appeared in 12 games for the Commodores before heading to the July 1 derby, and since played in 10. He broke a College Home Run Derby record with 58 total blasts.
Davidson returned to the Commodores with a vengeance, belting his first home run of the summer in a season’s best 17 run effort in his second game back from Omaha, but hasn’t found consistency at the plate. He’s batting just .174 on the summer with 28 strikeouts in 23 games.
The 10th overall 2019 MLB Draft prospect per Fangraphs, Davidson said he’s learned to “deal with failure,” and referenced it something he’s grown to learn during his college career.
“I’ve matured mentally,” Davidson said. “I learned how to deal with all the variables the game throws at you, especially the failure part.
“I think I’ve definitely grown as a player.”
Baseball America’s National Freshman of the Year in 2017, Wallner followed with an equally as impressive sophomore campaign. He went from .336 with 19 home runs and 63 RBIs in his freshman year, to a .351 clip with 16 home runs and 67 RBIs this past spring.
Wallner, Fangraphs 16th overall prospect for the 2019 MLB Draft, homered in his second game in a Commodores uniform. He has appeared in both center and right field in his seven appearances. He’s batting .250 (7-for-28) early in his Cape League career.
He’s just excited to step on the field at Fenway.
“We all grow up dreaming to play in a place like that,” Wallner said. “An iconic stadium like Fenway Park is a step above… Just that first step on that field will be surreal.”
Although they’re trying to help their individual draft positioning, Davidson and Wallner have an immediately gratifying goal as well, to hit a home run over the famed Green Monster.
“Definitely going to try to hit it over the Monster,” Davidson said. “That would be a pretty sweet opportunity.”
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Greg Levinsky can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregLevinsky