Someone should probably check my temperature, something must be wrong with me. For the second week in a row Sleeper Watch throws caution to the wind and features a hitter capable of piling up strikeouts. Unlike Eric Thames, Chris Davis whiff rate is eye popping. Of course, if he’s being highlighted there has to be something to like about him.
Davis is a player that packs a ton of punch. His 2008 debut caused a stir with him smacking 17 home runs in 317 plate appearances with a .264 isolated slugging (ISO). Debate raged around the net, including on these message boards, as to whether the hype was deserved or whether his strikeout rate would bite him in the butt. Unfortunately for those that were buyers, Davis crashed and burned, seeing his strikeout rate jump from an already high 27.8 percent the year before to a downright silly 35.8 percent. He still showed plus power with 21 home runs and a .205 ISO in 419 plate appearances though. The 2010 season saw him completely fall out of favor with Rangers brass and receive just 136 plate appearances. During this entire time Davis mashed in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League, leading many to speculate he is a classic Quad-A player. A Quad-A player is a guy much better than Triple-A competition, but not good enough to be an impact player at the Major League level. Toss in that he played in an offensive league, and it was easy to see reasoning for such speculation.
In spite of his obvious flaws, his power is unquestionably a plus tool, and was tantalizing enough for the Orioles to give him a shot, acquiring his rights in a deal sending Koji Uehera to the Texas Rangers. It should be no shocker that a team playing Mark Reynolds at third base every day would be intrigued by a player of Davis’ ilk. The Orioles also shipped out Derrek Lee to the Pittsburgh Pirates, leaving first base open, a spot Davis should fill in the lineup card. Moving from one favorable home ballpark to another, Davis has a shot to offer a nice power boost to owners in need of some thump down the stretch. With the Orioles out of the playoff race, he should get every opportunity to succeed (or fail) the rest of the year. One of the sneaky benefits of Davis serving as a reserve for the Rangers this season is that he picked up third base eligibility in Yahoo! leagues. A batting average liability, Davis isn’t the perfect player for everyone. Owners able to stomach a few O-fers at the dish should give him a test run and see what happens. The question remains, will Davis prove to be Brandon Wood version 2.0, or will he be a late bloomer in need of extended playing time to iron out the kinks. At the cost of so little, it’s a question worth having answered on fantasy rosters in far greater than two percent of Yahoo! fantasy leagues.
Josh is a graduate of SUNY Cortland's Sport Management program, and an aspiring fantasy writer. You can catch up with Josh in the Cafe Forums where he posts as B-Chad. You can also follow his work at The Hardball Times and follow him on Twitter (BChad50).
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