Baltimore Orioles: Chris Davis and his not-so-good 2017 season
The Baltimore Orioles Chris Davis used to be “that guy” in the Orioles lineup. He’s still that guy, but the reasons have changed.
The Baltimore Orioles first-baseman was that guy that no one wanted to face because he was that guy who could hit a serious bunch of home runs.
But, in 2017, his status became that guy who was an easy out.
Crush Davis could still crush the ball in 2017, but he just did it less often than he has in a few years. Actually, he did it the same amount of times that he did in 2014, but in 2017 something was different.
Similar slashes but different contracts
The big difference was that in 2014, Davis’s slash of .196/.300/.404/.704 with 26 home runs hurt a lot less than the 2017 slash of .215/.309/.423/.732 because of $13 million. In 2014, Davis was paid $10.35 million and in 2017 he was paid $23 million.
His 2017 numbers were not representative of a player making that type of money. Yes, every ball player has a down year, but Davis didn’t do much better in 2016 either. That season, his slash was .221/.332/.459/.792. And, in 2016 he led the MLB in strikeouts with 219 and he did not lead the league in home runs.
Davis looks an awful lot like a guy who got paid and decided that he doesn’t have to perform. Yes, he was hurt and an oblique injury can take time to heal, but he just didn’t look good at the plate or on first base. In fact, he finished the 2017 season with a WAR of -0.1. That’s a far cry from his WAR of 3.0 in 2016, 5.2 in 2015, and 1.8 in 2014.
Home runs or strike outs, not much else
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Davis is known for his ability to hit the ball far or not at all. He has led the league in strikeouts in previous seasons, but was saved from that notorious honor by Joey Gallo who had 196 and Aaron Judge who had 208. Davis actually was tied for third with Khris Davis in Oakland, but these other three men also happened to land on the AL Home Run leader board. Judge led the league with 52, Khris Davis had 43, and Gallo had 41. Chris Davis was no where near the top of that list with his 26 long balls.
It just wasn’t his year. And, it is evident by his monthly stats:
- April: .238/.337/.413/.749 with 3 home runs and 5 RBIs (80 at bats)
- May: .222/.319/.505/.824 with 8 home runs and 15 RBIs (99 at bats)
- June: .211/.286/.447/.733 with 3 home runs and 5 RBIs (38 at bats)
- July: .212/.323/.404/.726 with 3 home runs and 11 RBIs (52 at bats)
- August: .242/.321/.434/.756 with 5 home runs and 16 RBIs (99 at bats)
- Sept.: .159/.260/.330/.590 with 4 home runs and 8 RBIs (88 at bats)
Any way that you look at it, his season was bad.
What a $23-million baseball player should be able to do
Davis’s $23 million salary puts in the ranks of the best of the best. Joe Mauer with the Minnesota Twins made the same amount in 2017. But, Mauer has a serious collection of batting titles, and MVP award, and six All-Star games under his belt. Davis has been to one All-Star Game and he has one Silver Slugger award. It is difficult to justify the amount of salary that he makes, especially compared to the rest of the Orioles.
Next: Pitchers who gave up the most home runs in a single season
Hopefully, Davis will have a better 2018. For himself, for the team, and for the fans.