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PostHeaderIcon Who Will Be The Chris Davis Of 2014?

Chances are if you were fortunate enough to draft Chris Davis in 2013, your fantasy team had a pretty good season. It was certainly the case in BoxScore Baseball where owners such as Brian Scott won the national championship with Chris Davis performing prominently on his squad. The thing that was so valuable about Chris Davis was the fact that he put up the numbers of a first round draft pick while being drafted in about the 15th round. Seemingly out of nowhere he amassed 53 homers, 103 runs, and 138 RBI’s. So this prompted me to consider who could be the Chris Davis of 2014?

Admittedly, there is an excellent chance that there will be no player who bursts onto the scene in 2014 who profiles similarly to the way Chris Davis profiled in 2013. Probably the Chris Davis of 2012 was Mike Trout. Trout was another player who put up first round numbers despite being drafted after the 15th round. But Trout burst onto the scene as a rookie. That’s different from what Chris Davis did. And this is not an attempt to evaluate which rookies may make a huge impact in 2014. You can find a million articles written on that topic. This analysis is an attempt to evaluate which player, who profiles similarly to Davis, could potentially produce a 50-home run season in 2014.

In order to do this, I looked for players similar to the Chris Davis of 2012 in terms of statistics, experience, and age. First, in terms of statistics, the following were the numbers for Chris Davis in 2012:

Runs: 75, HRs: 33, RBI: 85, K: 169, BA: .270

Some players I eliminated because they are not true sleepers the way Davis was in 2013. I only considered players who are currently being drafted in the 10th round or later. Adam Jones had 33 home runs last season, but he is a legitimate first round pick already. Evan Longoria had 32 home runs, but he certainly doesn’t qualify as a sleeper. Neither does Justin Upton who had 27 dingers. Jay Bruce who hit 30 home runs is borderline. If he comes out and hits 53 home runs in 2014 that would certainly qualify as a surprise. But I still don’t consider him to be a true sleeper. Any on these four players could put up huge numbers in 2014, but if they do it will not be a shock similar to how it was with Davis.

Other players I looked at who had similar statistics to what Davis had in 2012 I eliminated because of a difference in their age or experience. Last season Davis was entering his 5th season in the big leagues and was 27 years old. Adam Dunn had 34 home runs last season, but he’s entering his 13th season. Ryan Zimmerman had 26 home runs, but he’s entering his 9th season. Brandon Moss has 30 homers but he’s 30 years old. So none of them very closely mirror Chris Davis in terms of age and/or experience.

What I was left with were 3 players who I feel have the best chance to be the Chris Davis of 2014. All 3 of them are entering their 4th season in the big leagues, similar to Davis who was entering his 5th season. Take a look at their statistics compared to Davis’ 2012 stats. Without being prejudiced by their names, which player do you feel is most similar statistically to Davis of 2012?

C. Davis (27 yo) Runs 75, HR 33, RBI 85, K 169, BA .270
Player A (27 yo) Runs 70, HR 36, RBI 100, K 186, BA .233
Player B (28 yo) Runs 85, HR 34, RBI 100, K 184, BA .234
Player C (26 yo) Runs 83, HR 27, RBI 83, K 97, BA .272

Player C is Dominic Brown. His batting average, runs, and RBI’s most closely resemble Chris Davis of anyone in this However, his strike out rate is much lower. Also, he only hit 27 home runs. That’s significantly less than the 33 that Davis hit. Therefore, I am predicting it is highly unlikely Dominic Brown will jump to the 50 home run level in 2014.

Player A and Player B are so statistically similar that you could almost flip a coin to choose which one is the most likely to be the next Chris Davis. Like Davis they both hit 30+ homers. They both strike out a ton. They both are very close to him in terms of age and experience. Where they don’t resemble Davis is in batting averages where they both hit significantly lower than Davis’ .270 mark. However, keep in mind back as recently as 2010 Chris Davis batted just .192. So Chris Davis is certainly no stranger to a low batting average either.

Player A is Pedro Alvarez. Player B is Mark Trumbo. Honestly, I don’t have either of them rated very highly on my draft board because they strike out so much. However, I didn’t have Chris Davis rated very highly on my draft board last season for the very same reason. So actually my lack of faith in these 2 players gives me even more reason to believe that one of them could well be the next Chris Davis.

Will it happen? Probably not. But if it does, remember where you heard it first.

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