Return to Headlines

Fox Lane High School Alum is Number One MLB Draft Pick

Coach Hillis and Henry Davis after the MLB DraftLast night, Fox Lane High School alum Henry Davis was selected first overall in the 2021 Major League Baseball Draft. The University of Louisville catcher and Bedford native was selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates — and Fox Lane baseball coach Matt Hillis was there with him to celebrate. 

“Being asked to join Henry’s family in a moment this incredibly special is something you dream about,” Hillis said. “I did not expect it. I was floored and overwhelmed.”

Hillis, who is also a Fox Lane High School science teacher, said there were some clues leading up to the big moment that something truly special was about to happen for Davis.

“Henry knew the Pirates had picked him about an hour and a half before but couldn’t tell anyone,” Hillis said. “We got down to the draft floor about 15 minutes before the start. The commissioner of baseball came over, introduced himself to everybody and we saw that we were sitting in the front row so we were a little tipped off that something really cool was going to happen.”

The 2018 Fox Lane graduate is the first number one draft pick from Westchester since 1985 when B.J. Surhoff was selected by the Milwaukee Brewers.

“I’m excited,” Davis said in an interview with MLB Network. “I’m a hard worker, I want to win. I’m a competitor. I’m going to do everything I can to get this organization to where it needs to be.”

According to Hillis, Davis’s work ethic was something that always stood out about him.

“I always felt he was the most ultra-competitive, hardworking player I’ve ever had,” Hillis said. “He has characteristics that were obviously going to set him up for success in this life: he’s super intelligent, driven, talented. If you throw those things into an individual, they are probably going to be successful at any job. But when it comes to the highly competitive world of professional sports, it’s exactly what he needed to get where he is.”

Scouts were interested in Davis while he was still in high school but they backed off once he committed to the University of Louisville, a move Hillis says was a smart one.

“It was a fantastic move,” he said. “He got more seasoning and he got exposure to some fantastic competition and he has just excelled at every level.”

Davis’s drive to improve himself is one of his standout qualities — and a quality Hillis says athletes and students alike should cultivate.

“The biggest issue I have is when you’re good with one strength and you’re not interested in working on your weaknesses,” Hillis said. “We’ve had not just players, but students who do the exact same thing. We try to preach to work where you need the work. Work with what you view as weaknesses. Not enough people are driven to work on the things that don’t come as easily. Henry’s willing to do that.”

While grit and work ethic definitely played a big role in his success, Davis recognized the support the people he brought with him have given him through the years.

“Nobody does anything special alone,” Davis said. “You win in life with the right people and I definitely have the right people by my side."