Six MLB hitters with a lot to prove in 2019

Six MLB hitters with a lot to prove in 2019

Chin Music Baseball

Six MLB hitters with a lot to prove in 2019

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Sep 15, 2018; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis (19) reacts after striking out against the Chicago White Sox during the fifth inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Davis, Baltimore Orioles

It was impossible for Davis to not be on this list, right? He only finished with the lowest single-season batting average in MLB history, along with also posting the league’s worst wRC+ (46) and fWAR (-3.1). During a year in which nothing went right for the Orioles, their 32-year-old first baseman was the poster child for it all.

And for a squad that’s at the beginning stages of a rebuild, it’ll be basically impossible to shed Davis’ contract — he’s due to make more than $20 million per season through 2022. Yikes.

The left-handed slugger has never been one to limit strikeouts, but it’s hit another level since the start of 2017. After hovering around a 30.0% strikeout rate for a number of years, that number jumped up to 37.2% in ’17 and 36.8% this past season.

There are many things Davis needs to fix if he wants to bounce back in 2019, but one is his performance against four-seam fastballs. Since 2015, his wRC+ against this specific pitch has looked like this: 220, 165, 80, and 77. If we take a look at his ISO during the same span of time, he’s experienced a similar decline: .466, .330, .205, and .107.

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