From 2016-2018 the A’s Khris Davis emerged as one of the biggest power threats in the Majors, posting seasons with 42, 43 and 48 HR. Those 133 HR led the Majors over that span, out-slugging Giancarlo Stanton (124 HR), Nelson Cruz (119 HR) and Nolan Arenado (116 HR). Unfortunately things have taken a sudden, and dramatic, turn over the past two years. The once dominant force has regressed into a near non-factor:
2019 – .220 with 23 HR and 73 RBI (533 PA)
2020 – .200 with 2 HR and 10 RBI (99 PA
It’s clear that things have changed, as his Exit Velocity, which during his impressive three year span (among the best in the league) has fallen to pedestrian levels:
- 2016 – 92.0
- 2017 – 92.2
- 2018 – 92.5
- 2019 – 90.2
- 2020 – 87.2
It’s not that he’s suddenly seeing fewer fastballs, including 56.28% in ’20, he’s instead suddenly stopped hitting the ball with authority (28.3% Hard%). Further driving that point home is his Barrels/PA%, which at 5.1% places him in a tie for 153rd among players with at least 50 Batted Ball Events.
We can’t say that there weren’t signs of this type of complete regression coming, as his Barrels/PA% in ’19 was 6.2% and his average home run traveled 396 feet. It made sense to hope that he could’ve bounced back, even in a short season, but does anyone see that hope once again heading into 2021?
Couple the questions about his power with his propensity to swing and miss (17.6% SwStr% in ’20, 15.4% for his career) and is there reason to buy in? Luckily for fantasy owners the price tag is a late round pick, and at that price there’s enough upside to pull the trigger. That said, don’t make the mistake of expecting him to suddenly figure it out again as there’s a good chance that his best days are behind him and he doesn’t even see every day AB.
Sources – Fangraphs, Baseball Savant, Brooks Baseball