2016 Projection: Now In Oakland, How Far Do Our Expectations Fall For Khris Davis?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

There had been rumors of the Brewers potentially trading Khris Davis, though they came to fruition last night when he was sent to Oakland in exchange for a pair of prospects (C Jacob Nottingham & RHP Bubba Derby). While there were high hopes for Davis entering 2016, the move obviously is going to have a negative impact on his value. Just how far does he fall? Let’s take a look:

Home Runs

The most notable drop is in his power, which takes a hit thanks to his new home ballpark. It’s not that it’s impossible to envision him hitting 30+ HR, even in Oakland, but we need to alter our expectations.

The fact is that Davis didn’t have a dramatic split last season (16 HR at home, 11 on the road) and his average distance on non-groundballs of 288.798 shows that he can hit the ball out of any ballpark. Still, he’s moving from a park that yielded 2.33 HR/game (sixth most in baseball) to one that gave up 1.72/game. Upside or not, our expectations need to be altered.

The drop in power also helps to suppress his other numbers, most notably his average. He was always going to be a risk, thanks to the swing and miss in his game. Last season his 27.7% strikeout rate came courtesy of a 15.2% SwStr%. While most young hitters struggle against breaking balls and offspeed pitches, Davis had issues against all types as displayed by his Whiff%:

  • Hard – 13.71%
  • Breaking – 18.36%
  • Offspeed – 22.80%

That’s obviously a concern, and the drop in home runs is going to make the strikeout rate become an even bigger issue. While we were never going to expect a great average, it appears more likely now that he falls below .250.

Throw in an expected drop in runs and RBI and it’s obvious that he’s going to need to plummet down the rankings. In fact he falls into the same range as Joc Pederson, who brings a similar skill set (just with a little bit more speed upside).

There’s value and Davis still worth considering, but he’s not a player to invest highly in.  Change your expectations and draft boards accordingly.

Sources – Fangraphs, ESPN, Baseball Heat Maps, Brooks Baseball

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