13 August 2014

Chris Davis on Path to Fall Short of Mark Reynolds

Last summer, Baltimore was abuzz with the possibility of Chris Davis challenging Barry Bonds' single season home run record.  As the season progress, Davis fell off pace, but still wound up with a franchise record 53 home runs.  This year, he is also on pace to challenge a single season homerun records: most homeruns by a player batting less than .200.

Here is the list as of August 12th:

Rk Player HR BA Year Age Tm OBP SLG
1 Mark Reynolds 32 .198 2010 26 ARI .320 .433
2 Mark McGwire 29 .187 2001 37 STL .316 .492
3 Carlos Pena 28 .196 2010 32 TBR .325 .407
4 Rob Deer 25 .179 1991 30 DET .314 .386
5 Ruben Rivera 23 .195 1999 25 SDP .295 .406
6 Dan Uggla 22 .179 2013 33 ATL .309 .362
7 Chris Davis 21 .197 2014 28 BAL .302 .406
8 J.P. Arencibia 21 .194 2013 27 TOR .227 .365
9 Carlos Pena 19 .197 2012 34 TBR .330 .354
10 Mike Schmidt 18 .196 1973 23 PHI .324 .373
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 8/12/2014.

At the moment, Davis is on target to fall short and tie Mark McGwire with 29 home runs.  Of course, Mark McGwire was a bit more impressive in that he accomplished that while playing only 97 games.  Also, at a batting average of .197, Davis is at risk of beefing up his batting average with only a couple hits falling in.  Rob Deer's 1991 season and Dan Uggla's 2013 campaign had a lot more buffer room.

Actually, when you look at it, the list is pretty solid.  One should expect that.  In order to get enough at bats to be on this list, you had to have earned a great deal of rope to hit so poorly and still play.  Each of these players held great promise or had performed quite well leading up to that season.  Here is a run-down:
Mark Reynolds - Fresh off a 44 HR / 24 SB campaign with MVP votes
Mark McGwire - Previous 3 seasons were All Star worthy with 167 HR
Carlos Pena - Appears twice, major power with an All Star appearance
Rob Deer - Always hit a lot of home runs with solid defense
Ruben Rivera - Major prospect with a great deal of potential
Dan Uggla - Big contract and a former very good player
Chris Davis - Monster 53 HR season the year before and no real options
J.P. Arencibia - Youngish player for former shine playing out the string
Mike Schmidt - Big time prospect with solid defense
My bet is that Davis will hit better these last seven weeks.  It simply is very difficult to have performed as well as he did last year and then completely fall apart like he has.  He should get better unless there is a clear reason why he has done so poorly.  I am not aware of a specific injury issue, so I assume he has had a bad stretch.  I feel confidant enough in that assumption that I would support the club using this blip as a way to try to get Davis to take a more reasonable extension.


Anonymous said...

Interesting write-up. Assuming Davis performs to projections ROS, what kind of extension would you offer in the offseason?

Jon Shepherd said...

I would probably start off with a 2/20 + 1/15 deal and be willing to go up to 3/39.

I'd be concerned about going beyond 3 years or more than 13 MM per year.

I guess a 3/30 with a 8 MM buyout or 1/20 option would work, too.

He might not be willing to take those as his arbitration figure at worst could be 8 MM and will probably be in line for 10 MM. If he believes in himself, he might roll the dice and let 2015 determine his value.

Anonymous said...

I actually thought by reading the title of your blog that it was about strikeouts! The reason is that Chris Davis is on a pace with Reynolds's record setting strikeout season (33.7% of all plate appearances ending in 223 strikeouts) in 2009 compared to Davis' current year (33.5% for league leading 139 strikeouts which leads the league despite Davis missing about 20 games). However, Davis won't likely get the strikeout record only because he missed a small portion of the season otherwise, I think he would reach the 223 total since he has really picked up his pace.

Unknown said...

I hear that Schmidt guy turned out alright.