Nate Stephens, rotoworld.com wrote:
Chris Davis – 1B Rangers – The aforementioned $27 bid in my AL-only league, Davis is the most likely player on this list to help a fantasy team win a title. Drafted twice previously before signing with the Rangers as a fifth round pick in the 2006 draft, Davis went right from his junior college team to Single-A Spokane and hit .277 with 15 homers in 253 at-bats. His strike zone judgment wasn't great and his swing a bit long, but it was still a quality debut for the 20-year-old.
The Rangers moved Davis right to High-A Bakersfield the following season and he was even better at the plate, batting .298/.340/.573 with 24 homers and 28 doubles in 386 at-bats. A late season promotion to Double-A Frisco followed, and Davis went on a tear with 12 homers and a .294 average in 109 at-bats. The big concern continued to be his strikeout rate, as Davis struck out 150 times in 495 at-bats. That he was consistently hitting the ball so hard meant he should be expected to post a higher BABIP than normal, but that he was at .377 for Bakersfield still seemed excessive and he would need to make adjustments against higher level pitching to succeed.
Of course, nobody told Davis of these concerns. The 6'3", 235-pound left-handed hitter continued mashing at Frisco to start the year, then looked even better once promoted to Triple-A Oklahoma. Between the two stints Davis was batting .333 with 23 homers, 21 doubles, and a .646 slugging percentage. He was still striking out (73 in 77 games), but advanced pitching hadn't phased him thus far. Called up to the majors this past week, Davis has shown more of the same with two homers and five strikeouts in 12 at-bats thus far.Davis is one of the best power prospects in the game, perhaps the best. Davis has the track record to support that notion, but that he's added 25 pounds of muscle since being drafted and that he possesses a strong swing with natural loft further verify his immense potential. That he's just 22 makes him one of the game's top 25 prospects, with or without the strikeouts. Davis continues to hit at every level, and does so immediately upon reaching each league, which bodes very well for his ability to translate in the majors. He's such a talented hitter that it hasn't mattered what has been thrown at him, so perhaps he'll adjust quickly in the majors too.
Davis swings hard, isn't the quickest to the ball, and has trouble hitting good pitches when he's not red-hot, but that describes most power hitters. Maybe the strikeouts will catch up to him, but Davis hits the ball with such authority and so frequently squares the bat on the ball when he does make contact that I think there's a decent chance he hits .280 or better right away. Even if he hits .240-.250, he'll still be a fantasy asset due to his ability to smack 15 homers the rest of the way.
He'll at least get a chance to show he belongs until Hank Blalock returns, likely in August, but the Rangers will also keep a spot open for Davis if he hits as hoped. That Davis wasn't able to handle the move to third base last season is a shame, but he has the bat for first base and the Rangers can always play him at DH. It could be a matter of days before he's batting fifth behind Josh Hamilton and Milton Bradley. Davis is the most likely callup left this season to go Ryan Braun on the league. That's obviously a tall order, but Davis has the power potential, opportunity, and even the concerning strikeout rate for the comparison to work. As a result he's worth over-pursuing and hoping for the best.
Recommendation: Pursue aggressively in all one-year and keeper leagues.