Batter’s Box: Khris Almighty
Photo by Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire
On the first day, God created a slugger. And he called the slugger “Chris Davis.” And he saw that it was bad, and he said, “Hm, let me try that one more time.” So on the second day he created another slugger. And he called this slugger “Khris Davis.” And he saw that it was good, and he said, “Okay, let’s forget I did that last one, I think I’m getting the hang of this now.”
That, friends, is the story of how the one true Khris Davis was born. Okay, so maybe Davis isn’t some kind of divine being, but he certainly looked that way last night when he went 4-4, 3 R, HR, 2 RBI. The performance gave him 13 homers on the season, and tied him for the second-most RBI in baseball with 38. Four of those homers have come over the past week, during which time he’s hitting .321, and it’s looking like another vintage Khris Davis season to this point. His 46.8% hard contact rate would be a career-high, yet his 22% HR/FB is below his career average. His 17 degree launch angle and 11% value hit rate tell me he could very well set a new career-high in homers this year, and once his career-low .243 BABIP starts ticking upward his .233 batting average should rise from the dead as well.
Mookie Betts (OF, Boston Red Sox): 3-4, 2 R, BB, 3 SB – It was just another incredible night for Mookie Betts, though on his third stolen base attempt he collided with the second baseman and his face fell off, revealing that he’s actually a baseball-playing android that’s engineered to dominate all facets of the game. Betts is hitting .403 over the past two weeks with five homers and eight steals. He’s batting an insane .364 this year, and is on pace for a 50/40 season. Get these androids out of our game!
Matt Chapman (3B, Oakland Athletics): 3-4, 2 R, HR, 2B, 2 RBI, BB – Speaking of robots, Chappie had himself a big game yesterday, and he needed it. After getting off to a torrid start this season, Chapman has hit just .196 in May while striking out over 33% of the time.
Matt Kemp (OF, Los Angeles Dodgers): 3-4, 2 2B, RBI – Matt Kemp says he’s in the best shape of his life, but personally I thought pear was his best shape. Kemp has slowed down over the past week, hitting just .208, but his average is still at .318 on the year thanks to a career-high 47% hard contact rate, career-high 27% line drive rate, and .383 BABIP
Justin Turner (3B, Los Angeles Dodgers): 3-4, R, 2 2B, 5 RBI – In his third game back from a lengthy disabled list stint, Justin Turner reminded the Marlins that they are bad and they should feel bad. He’s back, he’s good, etc.
Yasiel Puig (OF, Los Angeles Dodgers): 2-3, 2 R, HR, RBI, 2 BB – Puig has now homered in three of his last four games and seems to be finding the groove that eluded him early in the year prior to his disabled list stint. Puig has been making more contact and spraying the ball to all fields more this year, but has just a .250 BABIP to show for it, and should turn it around soon.
Brandon Belt (1B, San Francisco Giants): 1-3, R, HR, 2 RBI – Belt has now homered in four straight games, and is hitting .375 over the past week. He’s up to 10 homers on the year, and I want to say this is the big season we’ve been waiting for from Belt, but it was recently revealed that he’s been battling some knee issues, and I’m starting to get deja vu all over again.
Xander Bogaerts (SS, Boston Red Sox): 2-4, R, HR, 3 RBI – That’s back-to-back games where Bogaerts has homered now, and he’s been crushing the ball to Casablanca lately. That’s a reference my grandpappy would appreciate. Half his six homers have come over the past week, and based on his lowerred 40% groundball rate there may be more to come this year.
Johnny Field (OF, Tampa Bay Rays): 3-4, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI – Another excellent addition to the baseball-name team, along with Homer Bailey and Catcher McSlap. Okay, I made that last one up. It was a great day at the plate for Field, who flashed mid-teens power and speed in the minors last year, though may struggle to find full-time at-bats with the Rays this season.
Matt Olson (1B, Oakland Athletics): 1-4, R, HR, 3 RBI, BB – The great Dave Cherman and I discussed Olson on the most recent On the Barrel podcast, and mentioned that we weren’t big fans. I imagine him listening to the episode at home while crying and whispering to himself, “I’ll show them… I’ll show them. He’s now homered in three of his last four games, though he’s hitting just .192 over the past two weeks and I think will continue to be a batting average liability. A poor man’s Khris Davis, if you will.
C.J. Cron (1B, Tampa Bay Rays): 2-5, 2 R, HR, RBI, SB – C.J. Cron has been beating the baseball with his big wooden club like it’s a triceratops lately. I don’t know if that’s what cavemen actually used to do, I just couldn’t resist another reference to how much Cron looks like an early man. Cron has now homered in three straight games, giving him 11 on the year. Over the past month he’s batting .331 with 10 homers. His 11% whiff rate and 76% contact rate are roughly average, so don’t expect this to last forever, but enjoy the ride for now.
Ian Desmond (1B, Colorado Rockies): 0-4, R, BB – I have a confession to make. For the past two years, I’ve been impersonating Ian Desmond. I know, I know. It all makes sense now. The lack of power, the inability to make any contact whatsoever, the masculine jawline and chiseled physique. I’m sorry I haven’t been able to fill the real Desmond’s footsteps, but he needed to skip town. Forever. And he’s not coming back. Desmond is now hitting .167 on the year and, yeah. If you’re still holding on, bless your heart.
J.D. Martinez (OF, Boston Red Sox): 1-3, R, HR, 2 RBI – I’m starting to think the “J.D.” stands for “Just Dongs.” That’s four homers in his last five games, giving him 13 on the season and tying him for second-most RBI in baseball with Khris Almighty.