Former Northwood pitcher Davis Palermo in middle of first minor league season


Former Northwood baseball standout Davis Palermo is currently playing his first full season of professional baseball.

Palermo, who graduated from Northwood in 2018, played four years with the UNC baseball team before being selected in the eighth round at No. 236 overall by the Colorado Rockies in the 2022 MLB Draft.

“It was pretty unbelievable,” Palermo told the News & Record last June. “It’s just a pretty crazy thing to think about. It took a little bit to settle in. You can go back year after year,” he continued. “Even last year at this time, I would’ve said you were crazy. My freshman year, I would’ve said you were even more crazy. It’s just unreal that this is happening from where I was.”

After he was drafted last summer, Palermo played in just two games for Colorado’s rookie-league team, allowing one run over 1.1 innings while walking two batters. That came after posting a 2.78 ERA with a 74-24 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 58.1 innings with the Tar Heels during the 2022 college season.

Palermo joined the Fresno Grizzlies — the Rockies’ Single-A affiliate — in 2023 and has played in 28 games this summer. In 29.2 innings pitched, he has a 4.55 ERA and 36 strikeouts against 13 walks. 

In his last appearance before this story was written, on Sunday, Palermo picked up the loss after allowing three runs (two earned) in the 10th inning of the team’s loss to the Modesto Nuts.

During his senior season at Northwood in 2018, Palermo was 3-3 with a 2.16 ERA and 46 strikeouts against 15 walks. He also batted.235 at the plate with 12 hits and eight RBI.

According to Baseball Reference, Palermo is the fourth former Northwood player to play professional baseball, joining Benji Johnson (2007-2013), Woods Fines (2005-2012) and Austin Brice (2010-2023). Brice was the only one of the three to make the major leagues, as he appeared in 144 games over seven seasons with the Marlins, Reds, Red Sox and Pirates. 

In his MLB career, Brice was 4-4 with a 5.12 ERA and 160 strikeouts over 168.2 total innings pitched. Right now, he plays for the St. Paul Saints, the Triple-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins. In 16 games with the team this summer, he is 1-1 with a 4.41 ERA and 17 strikeouts over 16.1 innings.

The only other former Chatham County player to play Major League Baseball apart from Brice is Greg Harris, who graduated from Jordan-Matthews 1981. Harris was selected in the 10th round of the 1985 MLB Draft and played eight years between the Padres, Rockies and Twins.

In 243 career appearances (109 starts), Harris had an overall record of 45-64 with a 3.98 ERA and 605 strikeouts against 303 walks over 909.1 innings pitched

baseball, unc, northwood, mlb draft, minor league