It has been no secret in Birdland that Baltimore Orioles slugger Chris Davis has had a surprisingly poor season at the plate, at least when it comes to his batting average and on base percentage. Don't look now, but Crush could be turning a corner at the plate, and that's a good thing for the O's.
Overall this season, Davis has kept his power numbers up as he has hit 25 home runs and driven in 71 RBI, but his batting average is at an abysmal .194 and his on base percentage currently sits at .300, which isn't terrible, but is a far cry from the .370 he posted in 2013.
Davis's average is 92 points lower this season than his .286 average last year and his OPS is nearly 300 points lower (.708) than his 2013 OPS 1.004. Lastly, the home runs, while still much lower than last year, are less of a concern than his significant drop in doubles as he hit 42 in 2013, but only has 15 so far in 2014.
It is not hard to see that there have been two major factors in his drop thus far this season with one of course being the more pronounced shift against him when he hits, but the other has been his swing in general as his hands were lower in the swing, thus making an even more pronounced upper cut and making hitting the high strike nearly impossible, as well as him pulling off the ball significantly.
There could be light at the end of the tunnel however, as the past ten games have shown some promise.
Over the past ten games, his swing is in the hitting zone a little bit longer as his hands have been positioned better and last night's opposite field home run may have been the best swing we have seen from him in quite some time as his hips were more closed, head was on the ball and he stayed behind the pitch.
The last ten games have seen Davis hit .267 with four home runs, 11 RBI, one double, and has scored a robust 10 runs during the stretch.
Yes, .267 is not a huge number, but when you think about a guy that has been hitting below .200 for most of the season, that is a big leap forward at the plate.
There are more positive signs though outside of the home runs and a higher average. Davis has struck out 161 times this season, which is a crazy number, but over the past ten games, he has drawn more walks (8) than he has struck out (6). To us, that may be the biggest sign that he could finally be turning the corner at the plate, and with both Manny Machado and Matt Wieters out for the season, the Orioles could desperately use a version of Chris Davis that is close to his 2013 form as they finish the regular season and head towards the postseason.
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