Chris Davis is Making Earl Weaver Proud
Chris Davis is one pace to blast 162 homers and drive in 648 runs during the 2013 season. Okay, so the O's first baseman probably won't put Barry Bonds and Hack Wilson to shame this year. But he is off to an historic start, becoming just the fourth player ever to begin the season with a home run in each of his first four games (Willie Mays, Mark McGwire and Nelson Cruz are the others). Davis' eighth-inning grand slam against the Twins was especially fitting on a night when Baltimore honored the late Earl Weaver, who abhorred bunting and played for the big inning with sluggers like Boog Powell and Eddie Murray. Here's how Davis has made the Earl of Baltimore proud.
- Davis has hit two homers apiece off right-handers (Roberto Hernandez and Jeremy Hellickson) and lefties (Jake McGee and Tyler Robertson). The lefty slugger was lousy against same-handed pitching early on during his big league career (he batted .236 and slugged .418 in 298 plate appearances against left-handers from 2008-11), but he's now batting .267 and slugging .533 in 126 PA versus lefties since the beginning of the 2012 season. The sample size is small, but he has significantly cut his miss rate against lefties from 2008-11 (35%) to 2012-present (26.5%).
- Three of his four homers have come on pitches thrown on the outside corner of the plate, with Davis flicking two of them to the opposite field and pulling one to right. Davis has hit 15 homers on pitches thrown outside since the beginning of 2012, tying him with Edwin Encarnacion for third-most among MLB hitters.
Most HR on pitches thrown outside, 2012-Present
- Two of Davis' homers have come on the first pitch. He has as many first-pitch homers from 2012-13 (nine) as former free-swinging teammate Josh Hamilton, and he ranks in the top ten among all MLB batters in first-pitch HR over that time frame.
- Davis also has two home runs on soft stuff, driving a slider and a changeup over the fence. You might think that a hulking, high-strikeout slugger like Davis would struggle against breaking and off-speed pitches, but he actually has the second-most HR in the majors on curves, sliders and changeups since 2012.
Most HR on breaking and off-speed pitches, 2012-13