Epic Slugger, Chris Davis
Big time slugger, Chris Davis
Chris 'Crush' Davis
The Chris Davis show hasn't always been pretty, but it has been beautiful. What is that supposed to mean? It means at times some of us have felt terrible for Chris, worried about Chris, and we've stayed with it all long enough to see Chris redeem himself. This has all happened more than once, actually.
Christopher Lyn Davis, or just Chris, if you will. Crush will work if you won't. He's Chris Davis to the fans. It's a pretty damn generic sounding name. How many men, do you think, there actually are named Chris Davis in the world? Quite a lot, nope, I'm not going to look into it none. There is, however, only one Chris Davis that matters today in Major League Baseball.
There's little doubt as to how he earned the nickname Crush. You don't have to think about that one for long. I'd bet Chris could beat ol Giancarlo Stanton in an arm wrestling match, but then again Chris is a lefty, and Giancarlo is a righty. So we are unlikely to get to place a wager on it.
Chris Davis, he's a hulk of a dude
Chris Davis, a Three True Outcomes player
Chris Davis is 30 years old, and the owner of over two hundred Major League Baseball home runs. That all recognized, Chris started out slowly in the Big Leagues. He's getting better as he's got older. We know that sort of thing, getting better as you get older, that won't last too much longer; but he might still be improving himself. He's led the Major Leagues in home runs twice now. No, he didn't just lead the American League, he led the Major Leagues. It won't be much of a surprise if he does the same thing again this year.
Chris Davis is a Three True Outcomes sort of fella. There's that phrase, 3 True Outcomes, they've a phrase for people like Chris Davis, but the phrase only applies to the offensive side of the game, and Chris Davis isn't just an offensive player, he's a damned fine first baseman too.
What is all this business about 3 outcomes, and how could they be other than true? It's not very complicated. The 3 true outcomes, if you go for this type of baseball lore, are a walk, a strikeout, and a home run. If you hit a lot of home runs you probably strike out a lot, and if you hit a lot of home runs you maybe get walked a lot too. The 3 true outcomes thing only applies to 3 true outcome type players, and Chris Davis is the epitome of the 3 True Outcome player, it is an all or nothing sort of approach.
Chris Davis - most likely to hit 50 home runs in 2016
Chris Davis is as likely as anyone else in baseball to hit 50 or more home runs in 2016. He's a lot more likely to do it than some guys who've done it already, and are still close to being his same age. Prince Fielder comes to mind, he hit 50 a long time ago, and he's not really expected to do so again. Chris Davis is a different matter though, Prince Fielder could always hit for a high average too. Chris is more of an all or nothing guy at the plate.
Of course Chris Davis has already had a 50 or more home run season. He's led the American League in runs batted in before too, and he did so the year he hit over 50 home runs. When you lead the league in runs batted in, it says something about the team you play on, it says they have runners on base, and that isn't to your credit when you drive them in, but then again, it is to your credit because it appears that you are more likely to do something big with the bat if there are runners on the bases already to begin with. The point here is Chris Davis isn't just bangin' out empty bases homers, he's hitting when men are on base. He's kinda clutch, our Chris Davis.
You can watch video after video of Chris Davis hitting home runs. That stuff is impressive, sure, but none of it is going to amount to being my favorite. My favorite is of Chris Davis breaking a bat over his knee after he strikes out. You have to be exceedingly strong to break a Big League baseball bat over your knee. Bo Jackson is the only other person I've seen do that.
Chris Davis with the Oklahoma City Redhawks, The triple A team for the Texas Rangers
Chris Davis and Texas
Chris Davis is a Texan. As a Texan myself, I know that Chris probably identifies more as an East Texan. East Texas has its own sub-culture going, but once you are a Texan, you are always going to be one, especially to, but not limited to, other Texans. When I've ventured out of state, I notice that I'm quickly distinguished as a Texan. It's something that becomes part of your identity.
So Chris is from Longview, Texas. He went to school all the way there, and then went to Navarro Junior College. This wasn't too far from the Tyler Junior College I once attended. I'm pretty sure me and Chris Davis could have some conversations where we truly understood each other on a level that maybe some non-Texans couldn't do, so I especially like Chris for that, but it doesn't end there. Rather, it starts with my Texas Rangers, that is where Chris started. He was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 5th round of the 2006 draft.
While at Navarro Junior College, Chris Davis established himself with the reputation he would keep. He hit a baseball one hundred feet past the 380 foot outfield distance marker, they know this because the ball hit a building 100 feet past the marker. I assure you Chris Davis was a much skinnier man then. He wasn't nearly so large as he is now when he was playing in the Major Leagues with the Texas Rangers.
Chris advanced quickly in the minor leagues. The lower leagues were too easy for him. He did well in 2006, but in 2007 he'd become a top prospect for the Texas Rangers, hitting loads of home runs, and winning Minor League Player of the Year in the Rangers organization. In 2008 he'd quickly be promoted to triple A, the Oklahoma City team, and then he was selected to play in the All Star futures game, but couldn't because he'd already been promoted to the Major Leagues.
He was striking out, and in his own words, at an astronomical clip. He'd continue to do so, and also hit a lot of home runs, and so everyone in Texas today sees Joey Gallo, as the next Chris Davis. There is a real sense the Rangers rushed Chris to the Majors too soon, and this prevented him from easing into Major League stardom as soon as he may have achieved it otherwise.
To make an otherwise long and somewhat depressing story shorter, Chris Davis struggled a lot in Texas. He struggled through parts of 3 seasons as a Ranger, but there were some bright spots too. He hit a huge lot of home runs, and he played an absolutely sparkling defense. He showed he wasn't limited to first base, but could play 3rd base, and the outfield well too at the highest league there is. He got to be part of a team that would go to the World Series in 2010, and then he was traded to the Baltimore Orioles.
Chris Davis in Baltimore
The trade to the Baltimore Orioles was the best thing that happened to Chris Davis in his Major League Career. Sometimes a change of scenery and atmosphere is all it takes for a guy who has the talent to turn the key, and get the motor running. That's what happened for Davis. Yes, he has also had his struggles in Baltimore, but there he's found a home.
The Texas Rangers opted to use Mitch Moreland at first base over Davis. Moreland is a fine player, but he's not the player that Chris is offensively, or defensively. The Rangers management knew the possibilities for Davis were huge. I assure you, Texas Rangers fans are just pleased that Chris has gone and performed the way we always knew he could. Somehow along the way, amazingly, Chris Davis also has credit for a win, as a Major League Pitcher. This seems rather unlikely, but it is the truth, he wound up pitching relief for Baltimore one night in 2012, and he was credited with the win.
Chris Davis slugs one deep
Chris Davis becomes the epic slugger
In 2008 when Chris was playing for Texas, he got to play about half the season. That is to say he had about a half season worth of official at bats, and he hit for a .285 average. That's a damned good average for a guy who hits 17 home runs and drives in 55 runners. When you project those numbers over a whole season, you look at it and know you've got someone who can be not just a starter, but an All Star caliber player. In 2009 he hit for a lower average in slightly more at bats, but his homers and runs batted in were on a comparable clip. Chris was just too painful to watch in 2010 though, he was hitting under the .200 mark.
So in 2011 Chris was mostly in the minors with the Rangers, but he did perform well when he had the opportunity to play in the Majors, but not as well as he was doing at triple A Oklahoma City. As soon as he was traded to Baltimore, he started getting to play more often, and he started hitting for a respectable batting average too.
2012 would be his breakout season. He'd be an everyday player for the first time, but he'd spend time in the infield, outfield, and designated hitter. He struck-out a lot of times, but he wasn't the league leader at it. When you're battling .270, as Chris did in 2012, your total amount of strikeouts isn't so important, or doesn't mean so much in the negative sense. He hit 33 home runs that year, and drove in 85 runs. This was the Chris Davis the Rangers fans knew would show up sooner or later. But Chris was only giving a taste of what he would do the next season.
Chris Davis hit home runs the first four games of 2013. He set a goal for home runs he'd hit in the season, but he refused to tell anyone what the number was. I seriously doubt the number he set as a goal was as high as the 53 home runs he'd hit that year. That's 20 more than the previous year. Very few men ever hit 50 home runs, and fewer still have done so without steroids. Chris was accused in the press, there were suspicions, but by 2013 MLB was cracking down hard on performance enhancing drugs, and Chris never tested positive for steroids. When asked about it, Chris stated he believed Roger Maris to have the single season home run record with the 61 he'd hit. Chris discounted the Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, and Barry Bonds records for their having used steroids.
Chris finished the monster season he put together in 2013 with 53 home runs, a record for the Baltimore Orioles, and the highest number in the MLB. He also led the American League in runs batted in, and total bases. He hit for a very respectable average, .286. Chris strikeout 199 times, but that didn't lead the league, and nobody really cared because his other statistics more than compensated for it all.
Chris Davis 2013 Highlights
Expect a big season from Chris Davis in 2016 with the Baltimore Orioles
The 2014 season is one Chris would probably prefer to forget. He was injured, and then he got suspended for the use of amphetamines. The particular drug was pharmaceutical, a prescription drug, and one that baseball would exempt a player from being in troubles for had the paperwork and such been done. Chris had not done this, and so he was suspended for some games.
For the 2015 season, Chris got his paperwork and clearances in order; and had a spectacular season, as documented in numbers and videos above here. He finished with 47 home runs last year, but he also had 3 taken from him by outstanding outfielders. No worries there, If Chris Davis is healthy in 2016, he's the most likely man in baseball to hit 50 home runs again. I wish him the best, and you should too. Thanks for reading.