Chris Davis hit 38 homers last year, and we should be happy with that, but that's so 2015. In a year where many players set career highs in homers and second baseman were going yard 30 times, Davis had a normal power year for him. That was not a good thing because outside of scoring 99 runs, he did not do anything else well at all. He drove in just 84 and his batting average returned to the sub-optimal range albeit not below the Mendoza Line like in 2014. At this stage of his career, Davis' skills are stable. He will hit for more power than most and will produce runs in bunches when he gets on one of his power hot streaks, but he is very unlikely to hit for average. Good luck predicting his batting average given there has been 90 points of variance in it over the past four seasons. The three true outcomes are consistent for him but everything else is quite fluid.
Davis, who dealt with a lingering hand injury last season, said that he hasn't had any swelling or other issues through the first few days of batting practice, CBS Baltimore reports. Early in the first year of a $161 million, seven-year contract, the Orioles first baseman injured his left hand while diving into a base. Davis still played 157 games -- second most in his major league career -- but hit just .221 and struck out a career-high 219 times. He says the offseason was what he needed. "I think the biggest thing was really the rest and the time off and not having the physical contact and the beating that I did every day when I was swinging and taking balls at first base," Davis said. Now at full strength, there's reason to believe the 30-year-old's numbers will rebound from last year's dip.
Davis reiterated that his left thumb has not bothered him this offseason, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com reports. His batting average drop from .262 in 2015 to .221 last year was the biggest indicator of the bum digit's impact. His power dropped but still was excellent at 38 home runs and a .459 slugging percentage, so he could easily jump back above 40 long balls. Although prospective drafters should still watch for any news during camp, he'll fit comfortably on fantasy squads willing to absorb his contact woes in favor of his titanic pop. As usual, he'll help more owners in OBP leagues.
Davis began swinging a bat about a month ago and hasn't felt any discomfort, MASN's Roch Kubatko reports. The slugging first baseman played with a dislocated left thumb last season, but it didn't cause him to miss much time, as he played in 157 games, accumulating 665 plate appearances. He hit .221 with 38 home runs, and added just 84 RBI. His left hand ailed him for most of the 2016 season, and could've had some impact on his relatively modest totals.
Davis went 1-for-3 with a solo homer in the Orioles' 12-2 loss at the hands of the Red Sox on Monday. The Orioles were hitless against David Price and the Red Sox except for homers by Davis and teammate Manny Machado. The home run was Davis's 37th of the season, and brought his batting average up to .227. The fact that Davis didn't strike out Monday might as well be cause for celebration, as his 194 strikeouts are the most in the majors this season.
Davis went 1-for-3 with a home run and a walk in Baltimore's win over the Tigers on Saturday. Davis left Tuesday's game with a hand injury and missed Wednesday's game. He returned Friday with an uneventful game before swatting his 36th homer Saturday. The hand injury appears to be minor and should not be an issue as we enter the final weeks of the season.