Will Khris Davis keep his much improved offense going?
Khris Davis hasn’t had a great start to his season. Actually, until recently most would have called it dismal, but it seems that Davis is finally starting to turn a corner with his bat.
Wednesday night, his turnaround continued as he launched a 449-foot monster of a home run off Justin Verlander in the Athletics’ eventual loss to the Detroit Tigers. Statcast has his exit velocity at 112 MPH.
This ball didn’t just go out of the yard it went way, way out. It’s definitely worth a look:
Thankfully for Oakland, despite their loss to Detroit Wednesday, they’re finally seeing signs of the Khris Davis they expected to get when they traded their top catching prospect Jacob Nottingham to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for Davis.
Davis, who is coming off back-to-back 20-plus homer seasons, was supposed to inject power into a lineup that really needed it but, especially during his first ten games, Davis just couldn’t deliver.
It’s one thing to struggle to start off the season but it’s much worse when you are on a new team, a team that has expectations too.
After playing in his first ten games with his new team he found himself in a hole, hitting just .182/.250/.212 with six total hits, only one of which was for extra bases, one RBI and a whopping 14 strikeouts.
To make matters more difficult on Davis, he’s had to transition from the National League to the American League as well as from a hitter-friendly park to the pitcher-friendly confines of the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum.
Davis is hoping that all of that is now just a part of the past, a bad memory he can look back on and laugh at when he hits his 20th home run of the season.
Davis does have a history being slow to start out of the gate and suddenly taking off. Looking at the 28-year-old left fielder’s career he’s just a .225 hitter in March and April (regular season games only), and his 81 career strikeouts in March/April are by far his most of any month(s). Still, his numbers were looking really bad.
Then came the Wednesday game against the New York Yankees last week. Davis singled twice adding two more hits and two more RBI to his 2016 resume.
The very next day he took a 91 MPH fastball off of Yankees’ pitcher Chasen Shreve, breaking a seventh inning tie and slugging it into orbit for his first home run of the season and his first as a member of the Oakland Athletics.
Davis said it was good to “just to get the first one off my chest,” adding that the moment was “pretty exciting” for him. Now that he no longer had that first long ball out of the back of his mind, Davis has been hitting much better.
It hasn’t been long enough to really bring up his numbers but the consistency of his hits and lower number of strikeouts is noticeable.
For more on Davis’ latest statistics and how things look for him going back to Oakland on Friday, you can read the rest of my column for Today’s Knuckleball by following the link below: