Chris Davis finishes 2018 with the worst batting average in MLB history after Orioles shut him down
Davis hit .168 in 128 games this season
One of the worst seasons in baseball history is official over.
Friday afternoon Orioles manager Buck Showalter announced struggling first baseman Chris Davis will not play during the final weekend of the regular season. Davis is not injured. It's an organizational decision to sit him, according to the Associated Press.
Davis was mired in a 1-for-37 slump before being shut down for the season, and he finishes the year with a miserable .168/.243/.296 (50 OPS+) batting line and 16 home runs in 128 games. Among hitters with the necessary 502 plate appearances to qualify for the batting title, Davis has the lowest batting average in baseball history. Here's the list:
- Chris Davis, 2018 Orioles: .168
- Dan Uggla, 2013 Braves: .179
- Rob Deer, 1991 Tigers: .179
- John Gochnaur, 1903 Indians: .185
- John Gochnaur, 1902 Indians: .185
Davis is only the 17th player in history to qualify for the batting title with a sub-.200 batting average. He also finishes with the 12th lowest on-base percentage and 33rd lowest OPS+ among qualified hitters in baseball history.
At minus-2.8 WAR, Davis had one of the 13 worst all-around seasons in baseball history this year. Had his playing time not been reduced at various points, there's a chance he would've threatened Jerry Royster's record for the worst single-season WAR in baseball history. Royster finished with minus-4.0 WAR for the 1977 Braves.
Davis, who will turn 32 next March, has seen his offensive production slip from a 147 OPS+ in 2015 to 110 in 2016 to 95 in 2017 to 50 in 2018. There are still four years and $92 million remaining on the seven-year, $161 million contract he signed during the 2015-16 offseason.
The Orioles are historically awful -- they have the eighth most losses in MLB history at 46-113 with three games still to play -- and it's unclear how they will proceed with Davis. They may opt to see whether he rebounds next season before potentially releasing him.
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