Brady Anderson. Miguel Tejada. Both players have All-Time great seasons as members of the Baltimore Orioles — and whose achievements are at serious risk of being eclipsed by one Chris Davis.
Well, as far as single-season records are concerned, anyway. Against just about all expectations, the early season tear that the O’s current first baseman was on has continued into July, as his .324/.399/.721 line with 33 homers is the only thing currently holding Miguel Cabrera back from cruising to what would be a historic second-straight Triple Crown.
Along the way while playing the role of spoiler, though, Davis could very well establish a bit of history himself.
While his sub-par defense is unlikely to see him ever approach what might be considered the greatest season by a positional player in Orioles history, a 10.6 fWAR effort by the legendary Cal Ripken Jr. in 1991, there’s still a pretty good chance that Davis could go down as having the best offensive season ever by a member of the O’s.
In fact, with a week or so still remaining between now and the 2013 MLB All-Star Game, he’s already pretty close to accomplishing that feat.
Could the 27-year old possibly be able to maintain his batting average close enough to threaten Melvin Mora‘s all-time single-season high of .340 for the O’s? Probably not, even if the slugger’s season has been all about defying the improbable. That said he’s just some 18 home runs away from topping Anderson’s 50-home run mark set in 1996, and just 66 RBIs away from doing the same to Tejada’s 150 mark from back in 2004.
At his current pace, Davis should be able to topple both of those marks with 60 homer and 156 RBIs — the former seems a whole lot more achievable based on the lineup dependency of the latter, but neither would be considered impossibly long shots.
And with the way he’s been crushing the ball even when he’s not hitting all that well (.176/.263/.588 in July heading into play on Sunday), there’s a decent chance that Jim Gentile‘s .646 slugging from 1961 will also fall when 2013 is all said and done, as Davis currently owns a .721 mark.
Oh, and just for good measure, the slugger is probably going to establish a Davis-like career single-season high in strikeouts, too (on pace for 181).
Then again, considering the company that he’ll have a chance to be able to join after this season, I doubt the Orioles are minding the fact that they’re living with that vice too much.