So your fantasy team blows and you're stuck at the bottom of the standings with five or so of your leagues cheapest but most valuable keepers! Is one of them 1B/3B Chris Davis of the Texas Rangers?
Davis is a monster in size and fantasy terms. He's only 22 years old and stands at 6'4", 235lbs. When you look at Davis stand at the plate or when you see him swing the bat, he has such command and such a powerful swing its ridiculous! He tore up Double A and Triple A earlier this season and while his batting average and his on base percentage isn't the greatest, this guy certainly has the talent and the immense power potential we fantasy managers search for. Here is a look at his 2008 stats so far this season....
Majors - .270/11/32 with a .310 OBP in 163 AB as of Saturday, August 16.
Triple A - .333/10/31/2SB with a .401 OBP in 111 AB
Double A - .333/13/42/5SB with a .376 OBP in 186 AB
The one knock on Davis is that he is prone to the strikeout, but being the he's only 22 and only in his third full season in the minors or majors, it appears like he's has the talent to be a major league star. The question is however.... Is he a Ryan Howard or Adam Dunn with the K's, or will he keep the strikeouts to a minimum? In Single A in 2006, Davis had 386 AB in Bakersfield with 123 K's but, he had 115 hits and batted .298 with 24 HR and 93 RBI. What this tells me is that despite the insanely high K total, the guy was still hitting! In 2007 in Double A, Davis struck only 27 times in 109 AB, almost 25% of the time, and still batted .294.
Also, in 2006 in Single A, Davis hit 24 HR in 386 AB which could have translated into about 30-35 HR with 500+AB. Looking at what Davis has done this year with 23 HR in the minors and 11 so far this year, that's 34 HR in 460 AB. Imagine what another 100+ AB could bring?
Think about what Milwaukee Brewer Ryan Braun did in 2007. Braun hit .324 with 34 HR in 451 AB in the majors and hit another 10 HR in Nashville before he was called up in May in 117 AB. So that's 44 HR in 568 total AB. Think Davis can match that HR total in 2008 while keeping that average above .270 in the majors? I sure do!
Look, Chris Davis is a beast, he's only 22, and if you watch any of his at bats whether on television or live at the ball park, you can just see with your own eyes that the guy has command at the plate....despite the K's! I look at Davis as a Ryan Braun type potential with a lower batting average. Then again, Braun is only hitting .300 exactly as of Sunday after hitting around .275 most of the season before getting hot in the second half. What I am saying here is if Braun didn't stay hot, your looking at twins!
On draft day going into 2009, while everyone is salivating over Braun in the late first round of your fantasy baseball draft, you can probably snag Davis somewhere in rounds 4-7 or later and feel good about it. You'll pay through the nose for Braun while potentially getting close to the same stats for Davis. This means, if you can plan it right and hold off, you can go for a steals/runs/AVG guy like Reyes in the first, or a Holliday, or an Utley instead of Braun, and then save Davis for later in the draft. The fact that he's so young, didn't come with the Ryan Braun, Hanley Ramirez, B.J. Upton type hype, he should end up slipping in drafts further than he should. Chris Davis' power potential is immense, and that is why I am writing this article now!
Now is the time to educate yourselves on Chris Davis, the way I told you to educate yourselves on Nate McLouth last November. Davis will be a guy you'll want to hoard all to yourself for the next few years in your keeper leagues. I have already made sure I have Davis secured on 3 of my 4 keeper money leagues, so you should too.
Here is a link to my latest podcast, so you could see what I said about Davis a week ago...
I know its still early, but I want to be one of the first to jump on the Chris Davis bandwagon. If you think I'm full of it, that's fine, but I'm telling you right now...... I have seen this kid hit. He's going to be a fantasy stud! It's just a feeling I have. I have been wrong about some in the past, and I have been correct too. Davis is a pretty safe bet to make the team out of spring training in 2009 with the potential to easily hit 30-35+ HR! You can take that to the bank!
Fantasy Man ..... OUT!