Here at Athletics Nation, we like to give the people what they want. The people want wins, and we’re not capable of providing that.
The next best thing is #content around Matt Chapman, Matt Olson, or the one and only Khris Davis. Somehow, in spite of being the best home run hitter in the game since arriving in Oakland, Davis has flown completely under the radar. Time for Khris Davis fun fact hour!
Facts that are fun
-Khris Davis is on the verge of being the first Oakland A’s hitter in history to hit 40 home runs in back to back seasons. This is a franchise that has employed some of the best sluggers in the sport’s history, and yet the one to accomplish that non-trivial feat is the guy manning left field today.
-If you’re wondering if that’s a product of the current home run environment, it’s not. Sure, balls are flying out of the yard more than ever, but most of that is happening for the non-slugger types. In fact, Davis is the only player in baseball looking like he’ll hit forty back to back, even with the juiced ball. His ability to hit the long ball is consistent and rare.
-In spite of Giancarlo Stanton’s historic second half, Khris Davis is still the home run king since coming to Oakland. He’s a dinger up on Stanton over the past two years, and a remarkable seven in front of third place Nelson Cruz. That’s a big gap, and it’s cause Khris Davis is the man and Nelson Cruz is not.
-Pulling home runs is so mainstream, in addition to being much easier. Khris Davis doesn’t do easy, Khris Davis does what he wants.
Of Davis’s 81 homeruns the past two season, 60 have been hit to center or the opposite way. That’s the most in baseball by TWENTY. Davis is the best at getting the ball out to the most difficult parts of the yards.
Of all the things that make Davis so wonderful, perhaps my favorite is the fact his dingers are so frequently shaped in an odd way. So many times Davis makes seemingly weak contact, almost accidentally hitting the ball the other way. And yet much to the surprise of opposing pitchers, fans that have seen it over and over, and the A’s tragically fool-able announcer, the ball gets out of the yard. It never gets old.
-Davis does strike out his fair share, but he’s not a one trick pony either. His hard hit percentage ranks 9th in baseball this year and since Statcast became a thing, he’s got the 11th highest exit velocity in the game.
-The A’s have long seemed to struggle against against elite pitchers, particularly those who throw hard. Davis has hit 46% better against those hard throwers this year, and there’s no shortage of great pitchers against who he’s gone deep. Danny Salazar? No problem. Matt Bush, Trevor Bauer? Whatever. Cole Hamels? Try three times.
Davis also seem to enjoy hitting dingers off noted A’s enemies, including dingers off of John Lackey or Jason Hammel.
-Platoon players can be frustrating, and the A’s have made their living in part thanks to numerous hitters who can dominate one hand but not the other. Davis is fine against both, actually better against righties which falls right in line with his persona of being different. Those numbers take years and years to stabilize so we can’t assert that he’ll continue those ways just yet, but it’s still awesome you can throw him in the lineup against any pitcher and know he’ll do just fine.
-Best walker offer out there
Khris Davis with the walk off grand slam! pic.twitter.com/HYnpfqHkj1— Baseball Lords™ (@BaseballLords) May 18, 2016
Always a great (interesting) interview, too.
Has to be our favorite Khris Davis interview ever!! Who would have guessed the walkoff pie tastes good pic.twitter.com/qg0ymQ3XsV— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) June 16, 2017
Long live Khris Davis.