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Brainy Padres pitcher Zach Davies is more than meets the eye

PEORIA, Ariz. —

In what seemed like another lifetime, Austin Hedges was a 12-year-old shortstop who also pitched for the Orange County Aztecs. The McDowell Mountain Yankees, who counted a pre-teen Zach Davies among the future pros on the roster, were a frequent opponent.

The two grew closer throughout their travel ball run-ins. Sometimes they played on each other’s teams. Hedges, at times, even stayed with the Davies family in Arizona and traveled with Zach and his father to a tournament in Omaha, Neb., long before the competition began to tower over Davies.

“He was more of an average-sized kid then,” Hedges recalled.