What’s Wrong With Chris Davis? Is It Time To Buy Low?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

There’s no question that Chris Davis has been one of the more disappointing options for fantasy owners thus far. All you have to do is look at the numbers and it’s apparent:

.216 (47-218), 12 HR, 37 RBI, 33 R, 2 SB

The power is down, but not disturbingly so. His fly balls are down, though his 39.7% mark is more along the lines of his career mark (41.0%). His HR/FB is also a solid 21.4%, after posting marks of 25.2% and 29.6% the previous two seasons. The overall mark is dragged down by a 10.0% mark in April, so there’s nothing to be concerned with in that regard. While he’s not going to replicate his 53 HR from a year ago, he should be a lock for 30-35, or maybe even a few more.

The real problem, obviously, is with his average. Last year he carried a .286 mark courtesy of a 29.6% strikeout rate, 21.9% line drive rate and .336 BABIP. How do those compare to this season?

  • Strikeout Rate – 30.4%
  • Line Drive Rate – 25.5%
  • BABIP – .269

We all knew that he was going to be a strikeout machine, as he always is. We also had to expect his average to drop, at least a little bit. However, with his power and line drive rate he also isn’t a .216 hitter.

The line drive rate is believable, with a career 23.3% rate. He also owns a career .329 BABIP, so there is no question that there is a lot of bad luck at play. It’s been even worse in June, with a .214 BABIP leading to a .167 average.

Granted, the drop in power likely profiles him more as a .250-.260 hitter, but he’s simply not this bad. He doesn’t pop the ball up (5.4%) and he also has a good eye at the plate (12.5% walk rate). Given the other numbers, he clearly is inline for an improvement moving forward.

While he may be a disappointment thus far, there is no reason to think that he’s going to continue to be one. If there is an owner in your league frustrated by the average, now is the time to try and get him at a bit of a discount. He should turn things around before long and he clearly still is an asset in the power department.

Source – Fangraphs


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  1. Mark says:

    I got him for basically Rizzo. Would you lean towards platooning him right now in a daily lineup league at least until he gets hot? He hits righties quite a bit better, this year and over his career. I use Davis as my DH, and for example I’ll probably sit him tomorrow against the lefty Quintana and start Dickerson at Coors against a righty. Good strategy?


    • Rotoprofessor says:

      It can’t hurt, if you have the pieces to do it. That said, he’s actually been better against LHP than RHP this season:

      RHP – .204/.343/.401
      LHP – .237/.293/.461

  2. Sae says:

    pinch hit walk off 3 run HR

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