Chris Davis is on pace with some of the Orioles' best home run hitters
May 14, 2013
We're not that far removed from the point in the baseball season when you can make jokes like, "He's on pace for 162 home runs!" Nevertheless, with a little more than 20 percent of the baseball season behind us, it's fun to look at where things could end up. So let's talk about Chris Davis, shall we?
Davis is on pace to hit 48 home runs, the third-highest total in team history. He'd be two off the Orioles' single-season record of 50 home runs set by Brady Anderson in 1996 and one behind Frank Robinson's total of 49 in 1966. He would bump Jim Gentile (46 homers in 1961) and Rafael Palmeiro (43 in 1998) further down the O's all-time list.
Davis' career at-bat-to-home-run ratio (AB/HR) is 19.6, topped by a 2012 ratio of 15.6. His current ratio of 11.6 is the third-best in baseball at the moment. (Babe Ruth had a career AB/HR ratio of 11.76.) Meanwhile, his Home Run to Fly Ball ratio, which some use an indicator of how sustainable a batter's power is, sits at 20.4 percent, which would be excellent over the course of a full season.
Were Davis to land in the top five, here's a top-level look at how he'd stack up against the guys around him.
Previous career highs
Davis had a career-high 33 homers last season. If he stayed on pace for 48 home runs, it would represent a 15-homer increase from his previous career high. That would be the third-largest increase among batters in the Orioles top five.
1. Anderson made the biggest jump of the group. Prior to 1998, his career-best was 21 homers in 1992. That's a difference of 29 homers.
2. Gentile finished a distant second to teammate Ron Hansen in Rookie of the Year voting in 1960 after belting 21 homers. He more than doubled that total in '61 and finished third in MVP voting behind Maris and Mantle. His was a 25-homer jump.
3. Davis (projected).
4. Robinson had 39 homers in 1962 before doing himself 10 better in '66.
5. Palmeiro hit 38 or more homers in three consecutive seasons in Baltimore before hitting 43 in 1998. His four-homer difference is the smallest of the group.
After 37 games, Davis has 11 home runs. That's the third-highest total of the group.
1. Brady had 15 home runs after 37 games.
2. Gentile had 12 home runs.
3. Davis has 11 home runs.
4. Robinson had 10 home runs. Keep in mind they only played 155 games in 1966. He picked up the pace with 13 home runs in July and 12 in August.
5. Palmeiro got out of the gate the slowest. He had seven home runs after 37 games. He had 12 homers in June.
Davis has yet to have a multi-homer game this season. He had two multi-homer games last season, including a three-homer day on Aug. 24 against Toronto.
1. (three-way tie) Anderson, Gentile and Robinson each had seven multi-homer games. No one had a three-homer day.
4. Palmeiro had only one multi-homer game.
At 27, Davis would be tied with Jim Gentile as the youngest Orioles player in the top five for home runs. Davis was born in March, while Gentile was born in June. So Gentile would technically be the younger of the two.
1. Palmeiro was 33 when he hit 43 homers. He's the oldest of the group.
2. Anderson was 32 when he hit 50 homers.
3. Robinson was 30 when he hit 49 homers.
4. (tied) Gentile and Davis.
Can Davis maintain his current pace? Will he be the first guy since Palmeiro to hit 40 home runs in Baltimore? Will Davis finish in the Orioles top five for home runs? Add your vote to the Roar from 34 poll on the sidebar and/or offer your comments below.