Chris Davis was the breakout power hitter of 2013 and I believe that the man who shares his namesake but hails from Milwaukee, Khris Davis, will be one of the breakout power hitters of 2014. Davis, 26, hit 11 home runs in just 136 at-bats in 2013 and earlier this offseason, the Milwaukee Brewers traded Norichika Aoki to the Kansas City Royals with the intent on making Davis their everyday left fielder.
Davis has shown he can hit for power at all stages throughout his minor league career and in his only major league action, he boasts a .316 ISO, a 28.9 percent home run-to-fly ball ratio and a .596 slugging percentage. Davis showed power to all fields in 2013, hitting six of his 11 major league home runs to left field, two of them to center field and three of them to right field.
He’s also shown the ability to hit for power against both left and right-handed pitching. In 261 at-bats against right-handed pitching in 2013 (combined majors and minors), Davis posted a .510 slugging percentage and in 118 at bats against left-handed pitching, he had a .534 slugging percentage.
The only question with Davis heading into 2014 is whether he’ll be able to make enough contact to sustain a decent batting average. Davis’ 56.7 percent contact rate was over 20 percent lower than the league average, and his 13.1 percent swinging-strike percentage was almost four percent higher than the league average.
Davis hit 11 home runs in 136 at bats while making contact on just 56.7 percent of his swings — imagine how many home runs he could hit if he increased that by even just 10 percent and had 400-500 at bats?
I’ve got a .264/.346/.483 line and 482 at-bats projected for Davis in 2014 to go with 25 home runs, 70 runs, 71 RBIs and 13 steals. I currently have Davis ranked as my 38th outfielder, ahead of Jayson Werth, Josh Reddick and Jason Heyward. He is my 71st overall hitter ahead of Anthony Rizzo, Starlin Castro and Albert Pujols.
Khris Davis may not provide quite the value in 2014 that Chris Davis provided in 2013, but he’s certainly a breakout candidate who has the potential to be a steal for many keen owners on draft day.