We have all heard the typical spring clichés and it’s easy to get excited about them, as well as seeing strong performances. While hot stretches in the spring can conceivably carry over to the regular season, they are far from a guarantee. That means sorting through what’s real and what’s more of a mirage is key. This series of articles will provide looks at some known names having solid springs in order to determine if they could provide value in 2020:
Chris Davis – Baltimore Orioles
Davis is coming off one of the worst seasons in baseball history, hitting .179 with 12 HR over 307 AB. It was popular to write him off heading into 2020, but he’s gotten off to an impressive start this spring. Over his first 6 appearances he’s gone 5-9 with 3 HR and 7 RBI, with just 1 K vs. 6 BB. Before we get too excited, just look at the pitchers he’s homered against:
- Trevor Richards – TB
- Chris Stratton – Pit
- Stephen Tarpley – Mia
That’s not a highly impressive group, and this note from the Baltimore Sun’s Peter Schmuck is important:
While the Orioles encouraged him to make some swing adjustments over the winter, he resisted anything drastic and instead spent the time he wasn’t changing diapers for his 2-year-old twin girls pumping iron and putting on 25 pounds of muscle.
So while the strikeouts haven’t come yet, it appears inevitable that they do. Maybe he can get back to the power hitter he was previously, hitting 30+ HR. That type of player isn’t hard to find anymore, though, and if he’s going to strikeout a ton and hit .220 or worse will it matter? Maybe he’s made an adjustment, but he isn’t a player to get excited about regardless.
Verdict – Mirage
Sources – Fangraphs, MLB.com
Make sure to check out all of our 2020 preseason rankings: