It should not come as any surprise to baseball fans that Baltimore Oriole Chris Davis is leading the Major Leagues in home runs with 20. After all, he did hit a home run in each of his first four games to begin the season. What is eye-popping has been his consistency in hitting while playing his first full season as the Birds everyday first baseman.
Davis, a career (.270) hitter, is having a record-breaking year and has not stopped hitting after his incredible start. He is the surprising current vote leader to start at first base in the All-Star game ahead of Detroit’s Prince Fielder, and for good reason. He is second in the American League (AL) with a (.357) batting average. He is also second with 52 RBIs and second with 45 runs. Davis, who won the AL Player of the Month in April, is first in slugging at (.732) and first in OPS at (1.168)
He also recently collected his 20th double to go along with his 20 homers, and he did it in just 58 games, faster than anyone else in Major League history. The previous record was 60 games by Mel Ott in 1929 and Ivan Rodriguez in 2000.
Davis has been able to avoid slumps all year and his stats are breathtaking for a game that is defined by statistics. For instance, in the month of April he hit nine homers while collecting 28 RBIs and batting (.348). In a sign of things to come, he had an astounding 17 RBIs in his first five games to start the season. For the month of May he had 10 homers and 22 RBIs while hitting at a (.364) clip. Davis, traded to the Orioles in 2011 by the Texas Rangers is hitting (.364) for the month of June. Now that is consistency.
Davis, 27, who was drafted by the Rangers in 2006 in the fifth round, never found his groove in the Lone Star state. The 6’3” 230 pound Davis, was a hometown boy who is from Longview, Texas. After four years with the Rangers, Davis left with a (.248) batting average while hitting just 42 homers. He also struck out 302 times. A move up north has done him a world of good.
In three years with Baltimore under the direction of manager Buck Showalter he has blossomed. He is a career (.293) hitter with the Birds with 55 home runs and 155 RBIs. He is the middle-of-the-order slugger the O’s needed and has calmed the hearts of Bird fans who thought Baltimore needed to pick up a big bat in the off season to compete with the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox for control of the AL East Division.
Davis, nicknamed “Crush” for his incredible power, has been a consistent left-handed bat for the Orioles and has proven that he can play defense as well. So far, he has only committed two errors and has a .996 fielding percentage while playing first base.
Baltimore has a (34-26) record and is 2.5 games behind Boston. Like Davis, they have been a consistent team, winning or tying 15 of their 20 series to date. If they plan to make it back to the post season, they will do so riding the power of their amazing offense that boasts five (.300) starting hitters, none more powerful and consistent than “Crush” Davis.