In Khris Davis the Oakland Athletics have a guy who can consistently crush home run balls to all fields, the likes of which have not been seen since Messrs. Donaldson and Cespedes roamed the O.co Coliseum. Davis hit 19 home runs rated with a True Distance of at least 400 feet by ESPN's Home Run Tracker. The entire A's team had 59 last year, and the leaders were Brett Lawrie with nine, Josh Reddick and Billy Butler with eight each.
The distribution of his 60 career home runs shows all fields power, with 15 classified as opposite field home runs, 17 to center, and 28 to left. It doesn't seem to matter much the handedness of his opponent. He hits one out about once every 20 plate appearances against righties, once every 17 plate appearances against lefties.
You want some wRC+? I've got some wRC+. 115 against lefties (.238/.303/.495), 120 against righties (.254/.320/.493) because he's actually got a slightly higher BABIP against righties (.264 vs. .283) so far in his brief career but walks at the same rate no matter the pitcher.
Is it magic?
Five feet ten inches and 195 pounds isn't the usual type for a slugger, and he acknowledged that in his first major league camp with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2013. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's Tom Haudricourt reports:
"Me being kind of small, no one looks at me and is like, 'Oh, this dude's got power,' " he said. "I do, but it's kind of a secret. I consider myself a good hitter with power. I can sneak one."
A big part of his production last year came after he returned from the disabled list after tearing his right meniscus on a swing. Despite feeling "not mentally all there," meaning being concerned about re-injuring the knee, he hit 22 home runs in his last 271 plate appearances of the season.
So what makes him "Khrush"? Is it magic beans? Maybe! From the Journal-Sentinel's Todd Rosiak:
Sitting in the bottom of Khris Davis' locker in the Milwaukee Brewers' Maryvale clubhouse, among about a half-dozen bats, is a broomstick with a taped-up handle.
Tucked away in the top of his locker is a small bag of white Mayacoba beans.
Together, they make for a unique form of batting practice for the slugging leftfielder, who has used the technique since the age of 9.
"My dad traveled so much with scouting (for the Arizona Diamondbacks); my mom would just throw me beans. It was an easy way to get my BP (batting practice) in," [said Davis.]
What does he lose moving to the Coliseum?
Home run park factors at FanGraphs for a right-handed batter like Khris Davis show that by moving from Miller Park, which produces home runs for a righty at a rate 18% higher than average, to the Coliseum, which is 8% lower than average. Since those are only for 81 games a year, we halve those to arrive at things like park-adjusted weighted runs created and similar statistics.
A slapdash conversion of the home runs Davis hit last year would mean his 27 home runs in 440 plate appearances becomes 23.8 home runs hit at the Coliseum. That would work out to a 32 home run season if prorated to 600 plate appearances.
Forget the home runs he loses, just show me some dingers
Here are the longest three home runs Khrush hit last year:
3. May 11: Khrushed into Bernie Brewer's slide in left field, True Distance 439 feet
Milwaukee Brewers mascot Bernie Brewer goes down a slide whenever a Brewer hits a home run at Miller Park. He used to slide into a beer mug, but now it's just a platform. Against left-handed White Sox reliever Zach Duke, hit it way, way up onto that platform to extend the Brewers' lead:
2. September 10: Khrushed into the batter's eye, True Distance 440 feet
This one, off Pirates right-hander A.J. Burnett, would've only needed a few bounces to reach the Allegheny River:
1. August 22: Khrushed over the bleachers at Nationals Park, True Distance 448 feet
Off of Joe Ross, this home run was the fifth longest at Nationals Park in 2015, and second longest by a visiting player behind Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos, two by MVP Bryce Harper, and one by Marlins first baseman Justin Bour:
I think we're going to be hearing a lot of "Wow" from Ray Fosse this year.