Good writers start their articles off with a hook, a blend of words, expertly constructed to draw the readers attention and introduce the purpose of said article. Nope!
Khris Davis can absolutely mash
42 dingers. Forty. Two.
With the power of Statcast, the radar based technology that has made baseball watching that much more interesting, we can learn a little bit more about what makes him so great. From Mike Petriello, of MLB.com:
You don't hit that many homers without barreling the ball up, and Davis managed to be the only one (minimum 30 balls in play) to top Cabrera in barrels per plate appearance, hitting a barrel 10.7 percent of the time he stepped to the plate, just topping Cabrera's 10.6 percent. You might prefer "barrels per swing," or "barrels per ball in play," not wanting to penalize a hitter for drawing a walk. All fair points; still, let's recognize how powerful of a season Davis just had.
Ok, that's not that interesting. Here's a dinger for your time.
In a bit of a sad turn of events, krptonite isn’t real. It’s got a red squiggly line under it on my screen, and science says kryptonite can’t exist in a true sense. Superman’s lone weakness, it turns out, doesn’t really matter.
Khris Davis’s weakness is real, and it does matter. But if there’s a tool in a baseball players’ arsenal that matters least, it’s probably a throwing arm. If there’s a weakness that’s the most fun, it’s also a throwing arm. Witness:
From that same Petriello article.
Bonus fun Statcast™ fact, though perhaps less so for Davis: Of the 106 outfielders to make 10 "competitive throws," Davis' average of 72.1 mph was … 106th. It's a long drop from Starling Marte's leading 97 mph, but if Davis keeps slugging like that, the A's may not mind.
We all love to hyperbolize our skills compared to those of our baseball heroes. "Ah c’mon, I wouldn’t have swung at that ball in the dirt!" and "My girlfriend can run faster than Billy Butler, and she’s not even real!" are common refrains when watching baseball, but the truth is almost universally no, you couldn’t do better than your favorite athletes.
Here’s your chance! 72 MPH is slow and humanizing, and it’s the aspect of Davis that is most Oakland.
He's flawed in a way that doesn't sink his game. It's strange and but it's weirdly fun, and it makes no sense. How could a man with so much power have the weakest arm in baseball? What a quirk in a quirky sport.
We’ve all wondered if there’s a story to Davis’s meager arm. There are references deep in the baseball internet to a college injury; many a fan have their theories as to the reason for Davis's noodle. Ultimately, there’s no concrete answer to the mystery of the most incongruous skillset in the game. On the one hand, there’s the obvious power. On the other, there’s the glaring weakness.
That nonsensical mismatch is just so Oakland. The A’s have always targeted players with flaws, specifically those with skills in other parts of their game. Davis has both in spades, and his bombs far outweigh his rainbows. His flaw is about as entertaining as flaws can be, and it’s endearing. Long live Khris Davis, Oakland Athletic.