The Texas Rangers probably feel silly after trading Chris Davis for a relief pitcher. Fans of the Rangers must feel like throwing up after each and every home run that Davis hits for his new team, the Baltimore Orioles. Davis came up through the Rangers’ system with a ton of power potential, but it he never quite figured it out in Arlington. With the Orioles, he has broken out in a big way.
“Crush” Davis likes to hit baseballs very far and very frequently. After a breakout season in 2012 in which he hit .270/.326/.501 with 33 home runs, Davis had hopes of repeating that success in 2013. It turns out that his 2012 season was only a minor breakout, and 2013 would bring much better things. In 2013, Davis hit .286/.370/.634 with a 1.004 OPS; he also hit 42 doubles, 53 home runs and drove in 138 runs for the O’s.
While Davis had a great season, it still doesn’t rival my favorite stat-line of all time (2004 Barry Bonds, who had a .609 OBP and a 1.422 OPS!). Now that I have gotten my Bonds’ 2004 season mention out of the way, we can take a deeper look at Davis. For much of the season, it looked like Davis was poised to break the “clean” home run record of 61, owned by former New York Yankee Roger Maris. Eventually, however, Davis cooled off a bit and came back down to Earth.
Davis doesn’t just pull all of his home runs, either. In fact, without having the numbers in front of me, I would imagine he hit a very large amount to left field. He has enough power in his bat that he can basically just put his bat near the ball and the ball will gravitate towards the bat and bounce off for a home run. I’m only slightly exaggerating, by the way. Like any breakout player, the steroid accusations began immediately. While I don’t think the accusations are unfair, due mostly to the generation we live in, I do tend to believe Davis is clean. He seems to legitimately want to be a part of the clean home run mashers’ club.
Acquiring Davis was just one of a brilliant series of moves that got the Orioles back to relevance in baseball again. For the Rangers, I hope Koji Uehara‘s impact was big, because Davis is lighting up the baseball world in Baltimore.