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Beware of the Chris Davis hype

By – Danny Ferrara

While the Baltimore Orioles swung a nice deal before the trade deadline that brought in Tommy Hunter and Chris Davis, do not get too excited – Chris Davis may not be what you expect.

Ever since he broke onto the scene, Davis was expected to be the next big first baseman in the league. He probably earned the hype by batting .285 with 17 HR and 55 RBI in 80 games in his 2008 rookie campaign. What people seem to forget is the fact that Davis struck out 88 times in just 295 at bats, with 27.8% of his plate appearances that season ending in a strikeout.

That percentage crawled to a career-high 35.8% in 2009, when a 23 year old Davis struck out once in every 2.6 at bats. Davis appeared in 33 more games in 2009 than his rookie season and he managed to pull up his power numbers – he hit 4 more HR and drove in 4 more RBI. While some may look at these statistics and be impressed at his high run production in such a short span of time, others may look at other stats and be astonished. Davis’ batting average dropped 47 points from the year before and sat at a measly .235 and he struck out 150 times in just 391 at bats. For the second straight season, Davis recorded more strikeouts than hits – in fact, he has never had a season in the big leagues where he has had more hits than strikeouts. For his career, Davis has gotten 219 hits and struck out 303 times in 267 games.

While he was in Texas, Chris Davis served as the replacement for Mark Teixeira once Tex was traded to the Atlanta Braves. Perhaps the organization was desperate for some life to be restored after the deal and the fan base stormed to whichever player looked the most promising – Davis was immediately compared to Teixeira. While they are both first basemen, solid in the field, and demonstrate power, Chris Davis is no Mark Teixeira. Perhaps a change of scenery is what Davis needs to get his career back on the right track. He is away from Texas now, a place where he did not seem to have much of an immediate future, being as though they have first base locked up, and has gone to a struggling Orioles team where he can play in the major leagues without any pressure.

We know that the Orioles have been searching for a solid first baseman for quite some time now, but if they seriously believe that Chris Davis is the answer then they are sorely mistaken. The bottom line is that Davis is an above average fielder and a very strong player who can produce in the home run category – at the same time, he is a below average contact hitter and a liability to put the ball in play. Although Davis is a career .317 hitter in the minor leagues, he has not proven anything in the show and there is no reason to believe that this stint in the big leagues will prove to be any different than his others. When you think about Chris Davis, compare him to Shelley Duncan – a player with power who rakes in the lower levels and fails constantly when called up.

Follow me on Twitter: @Ferrara34

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So Much Sports is a Maryland Sports Website providing both news and commentary from everything from the Ravens to High School Sports in the State of Maryland.

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