Baltimore Orioles: Will Chris Davis be an Oriole in 2015?


Photo: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
A day after securing their first division title since 1997, Orioles fans got some more excitement when the organization promoted top hitting prospect Christian Walker. The move could just be the team rewarding Walker for an outstanding season. However, with slugger Chris Davis being suspended and lacking production for much of the season, the Orioles could be using the last two weeks of the season to showcase his future replacement.

It would have been impossible to imagine after finishing 2013 with 53 homeruns that less than a season later his job could be in jeopardy, but his performance in 2014 has made it a conversation. Most Orioles fans are well aware of the numbers, and they are ugly to say the least. His .196 average is worst in the league and his 173 strikeouts are most in the league. Anyone would live with the strikeouts when you’re hitting 53 homers and hitting .286 like he did in 2013, but not with his numbers this season.

In Chris Davis’ defense he has now missed games three times this season; once for an oblique injury, once for the birth of his son and now his amphetamines suspension. All together he was only available to play in 126 games. In his abbreviated season he did hit 26 homeruns and drove in 72 RBI’s. So it would be hard to argue he had no production, but the Ks and average are a lot to overlook.

Christian Walker on the other hand had an incredible year in the minors hitting 26 homeruns and driving in 96. There is no doubt with those numbers Walker can hit at the minor league level, but as baseball fans know that doesn’t always translate to the majors. Some people may have forgotten, but Lou Montanez once won the triple-crown in AA and Matt Wieters hit .355 in his only full season in the minors.

Davis also has competition with the emergence of veteran Steve Pearce. The former utility man is now batting .297 and has hit 20 homeruns in only 97 games. The league has seen many players have successful seasons only to be unable to repeat them the following season, and that could easily be the case with Pearce. However, it is impossible to imagine watching everyday this season. Now with the acquisition of left-fielder Alejando De Aza, Pearce maybe limited to only first base.

This season could just be an aberration and Davis could resemble the 2013 version of Chris Davis next season. However, with the emergence of Steve Pearce and prospect Christian Walker knocking on the door, Davis will have to show something special in spring training or his days in Baltimore could be numbered.