What other team has five .300 hitters and another at .297? Guess which team has the home run leader? And as of June 1st, Baltimore boasts of having four of the top seven hit leaders in the American League (AL) and yeah, they just happen to have a fella named Chris “Crush” Davis who is no longer a mystery. He just happens to be the guy who has hit 20 homers to lead all of baseball in that category.
This is the list of the Baltimore (.300) Club. At first base, Davis is hitting (.356). At third base, Manny Machado is clobbering the ball at a (.331) clip. Outfielder Adam Jones is hitting (.319). Reserve Chris Dickerson has a (.309) batting average and outfielder Nick Markakis is hitting (.305). Nate McLouth might as well be considered a .300 hitter because he is right there with a (.297) average. Baltimore currently has three of the top ten hitters-for-average in the AL.
Baltimore’s Davis is also the second best hitter in the AL with a batting average of (.356) but what is more impressive is his slugging percentage of .749 which leads all of baseball entering the first weekend of June. Davis, who was traded to the Orioles from the Texas Rangers in 2011, is a career (.269) hitter. Ironically, he had to prove he could be an everyday first baseman this off-season and was not a lock at first base after the Birds traded another home-run hitting first baseman, Mark Reynolds to the Cleveland Indians. Baltimore fans are glad Davis was able to show that he could catch a ball and keep his foot on the bag at the same time.
Davis, a fifth round pick in the 2006 draft, is having a dream season and showed power during last year’s playoff push, the Birds first taste of post season play since 1997, by clobbering 33 homers. This year his keen batting eye and pitch selection has made all the difference. He has a smooth and effortless swing with tremendous power. His easier swings cause the ball to travel farther into the seats at Oriole Park at Camden Yards for anxious souvenir-seekers to gobble up.
Davis has been a one-man wrecking crew for opposing pitchers and leads the AL or all of baseball in many categories. He is tops in baseball with an On-Base plus Slugging average of (1.178) He ranks second in all of baseball with 144 total bases and is also second with 51 RBI. Davis leads all of baseball with 37 extra base hits and is the leader in AB per HR at 10.3 according to Baseball-Reference.com. He was also the AL Player of the Month for April.
The next best Baltimore hitter is sophomore sensation and third baseman Machado, who, as of June 1st had 79 hits and was only two behind the best hitter on the planet, last year’s Triple Crown winner, Miguel Cabrera, who leads all of baseball with 81 hits and a (.372) average.
Amazingly, as we begin the month of June, four of the top seven hitters in the AL wear the Baltimore orange and black. Besides Machado, Jones has 74 hits, Markakis has 70 and Davis has 68 hits. No other team has more than one hitter in the top seven in the AL. Cabrera leads all hitters with 81 hits as of June 1st.
The O’s have a team batting average of (.275) which ranks second in the AL. Machado leads all of baseball with 25 doubles. Davis is tied for third in all of baseball with 18 doubles and Jones is tied for eighth with 17 two-baggers.
Baltimore (32-25) is currently two games behind the first place Boston Red Sox who have a (34-23) record. The Birds have been able to stay with the Red Sox, despite inconsistent pitching and pitching injuries, because of their amazing hitting. They have had many come-from-behind wins already this season and are never out of a game due to their consistent and clutch hitting.
So this summer, you can take in a game and watch these Birds fly around the bases. If their pitching catches up with the hitting that may just land them into the playoffs for the second straight season.