Happy Valentine's Day! If you missed out on Cindi's "Butterscotch Olalliepops!!!" you're...lucky.
Admittedly, this is a one-note post but it brings up the note I've wondered about since I got the full scouting report on Khris Davis. Along with good BB rates in the minors that so far have not translated in the big leagues, a high K-rate, and decent speed/range in LF, two qualities leap out, one good and one not-so-good:
- Davis hits the ball as hard, and as far, as anyone. His HRs have been known to shatter luxury suite windows, the windows of parked cars, and the front windshield of the Starship Enterprise. When Davis hits the ball, he hits it "top 3 in the big leagues" hard and he can do so to all fields. Contact is his friend.
- In LF Davis has an arm so weak, baseball-reference.com lists the top 10 best comps as:
2. Coco Crisp
3. Jim Abbott's right arm
4. Coco Crisp
5. Babe Ruth (currently)
6. There Is No #6
7. Coco Crisp
9. Coco Crisp
10. The Larch
At least with Crisp there is a clear explanation: Coco has had his shoulder operated on by Kellogg's to the point that it is now Shredded Shoulder -- perhaps less tasty than Shredded Wheat but also gluten free.
My question is: WHY is Davis' arm SO weak? Here's a guy who is obviously extremely strong when his arms are swinging a bat, whose shoulder is, as far as we know, structurally sound. Why is he not capable of throwing a ball any harder than he does?
Arm strength is one of those things you don't hear about players suddenly improving. Arm accuracy, sure, because improved footwork often leads to improved accuracy. Better routes to fly balls, a better first step, a more consistent release point...all things a Ron Washington or Mark Kotsay can work with a player on improving, sometimes with dramatic results.
If Davis' weak throwing arm were a matter of poor mechanics, you might hold out hope that Kotsay could help him, but you don't hear a lot of anecdotes about OFers with weak throwing arms improving their mechanics and seeing their arm strength change dramatically. It seems as if with OFers' throwing arms, mostly "what you see is what you get".
If this is the case, why is what we see with Davis all we can get? A healthy 5'10", 194 lb 28 year old who can send titanic drives into the stratosphere can only lob throws at a pitiful level comparable to Coco Crisp?