Stick with Khris Davis

According to ESPN.com Most Dropped list, folks are jumping off the Khris Davis bandwagon just as quickly as they jumped on. Through 19 games this season Davis has a .267/.295/.427 slashline and a near league average 97 OPS+. So why has his ownership percentage dropped 22.5 percentage points from 82.7% a week ago to 60.2% today? I don’t know. It seems strange to me. Over the last week, his numbers are higher than his season numbers, with a .296/.321/.556 slashline. Both of his 2 home runs have come in the last week. In his 19 games he’s managed a hit in 11 games (58%), and been on base in 12 of them (63%).

The issue for (former) Davis owners may be his 29.5% strike out rate so far in 2014. He struck out 22.2% of the time in his 56 games last year. In the high minors (AA and AAA) Davis struck out at a 19.9% rate so his 29.5% this year is alarming.

Looking at the pitches that Davis has struck out on, we don’t see a trend. Of his 23 Ks, he’s struck out on 8 different pitches. Twelve (52%) have been on some flavor of fastball while the slider and changeup have accounted for most of the others.

khris-davis-k-pitch-chart

When we look back at the same chart for last season, we see that Davis had a much harder time striking out on sliders for 33% of his Ks.

khris-davis-k-pitch-chart-2013

Charts courtesy of Baseball Savant

I would chalk this up to a small sample size. I don’t really have any concerns about Khris Davis delivering the 65+ runs, 20+ homers, 65+ RBI, with a .260 batting average and .350 on base. Stick with this guy.

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