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.