You’ve probably heard the name. Actually you have probably heard the name multiple times. However, nine times out of ten when someone says the name “Chris Davis” in the same sentence as the words “home run,” your mind jumps to slugger Chris Davis of the Baltimore Orioles. That’s not the Davis you’re going to read about here.
The Orioles’ Chris Davis is quite a slugger; he’s one of the elite power hitters in the game today. Many names could be added to the list, from Boston’s David Ortiz to the Nationals’ Daniel Murphy, who lead their respective leagues in slugging percentage. Of course there’s always names like Edwin Encarnacion, Mark Trumbo, Mookie Betts, Nelson Cruz and Nolan Arenado, but when you think of MLB’s legitimate, elite power hitters there is one name you should know, and that name is Khris (with a K) Davis.
Davis is currently tied for fourth in the majors with 30 home runs this season and it is just his fourth full season in the big leagues. Davis hit 11 home runs in 2013, and his power has steadily climbed from there. In his three seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers, Davis hit a total of 60 home runs.
Still, when reports came in that Davis was joining the A’s via trade from the Brewers in a deal that included the A’s top catching prospect Jacob Nottingham, most of what was relayed was that he had the potential to be one of the elite power hitters in the game but that he was a streaky hitter, so it was hard to tell what kind of production a team could get from him on any given day.
Had some of those statistics been thoroughly examined though, it would become clear that Davis’ consistency hadn’t really been all that shaky. Beyond that, he’d always shown that he had power, hitting 22 homers in 2014 and 27 in 2015. After hitting 22 homers in his sophomore season, Davis had just five home runs through the end of May 2015 when he tore cartilage in his knee while striking out.
He returned to the Brewers lineup on July 7 and hit two home runs in July, but went on to hit 10 in August and 10 in September. That really isn’t representative of being a “streaky” hitter. It’s more of a representation of player who simply needs a bit of time to get re-acclimated to the game after a period of time off.
Davis started out his career with the Oakland A’s poorly. He hit .221 in the month of April with three homers, 26 strikeouts and just three walks. Then in May, Davis hit 10 home runs, including a three-homer game that was capped off by a walk-off grand slam to defeat the division-rival Texas Rangers.
Between June and July he averaged six home runs a month and so far in August, he’s hit the ball out of the yard four more times. If he hit his median of six home runs per month during the regular season that would have him hitting 36 home runs this season, and that is a very plausible number for him to hit before game 162 this season. He could even hit the coveted 40-homer-mark in 2016 with a big push.
Davis ranks sixth in average exit velocity in the American League after Encarnacion, Ortiz, Nelson Cruz. Miguel Sano, Trumbo and Chris Carter. This means the majority of Davis’ home runs leave the yard at a very rapid rate with his average being 93.9 MPH.
Khris-with-a-K Davis is up there with the most elite power hitters in the league whether fans know his name or not, but maybe they should.