Khris Davis: Buy Or Sell?
Back in 2012, I traveled to Huntsville for a look at Jean Segura, Hunter Morris and Khris Davis. Unfortunately, Davis was promoted just before my look and I was unable to scout him. At the time of his promotion, he had pummeled the Southern League to the tune of .383/.484/.641. Davis achieved success in Triple-A as well, but opened 2013 in Nashville nonetheless.
The Director of Media Relations for the Huntsville Stars gushed about Davis’ bat and believed he was one of, if not the best hitter in the league. Of course I hear this all the time as team employees are generally biased to the point of functioning in an alternate baseball universe. But was she right? At 25, his .281/.358/.612 triple slash line has left Davis a prolific hitter in the 2013 rookie class. While more celebrated prospects have struggled, Davis has excelled to the point where he went for relatively big money at auction in the Ottoneu Experts League.
Will the good times continue?
In five-plus years scouting prospects, no player was panned by scouts as much as Davis was. In sitting with a handful of them over a weekend, each took his turn trashing the right-handed hitters swing, athleticism and defensive ability. To scouts in attendance, his on field performance didn’t matter. Davis wasn’t a viable big leaguer and his ceiling was as a fourth outfielder… at best.
At the moment, those scouts are looking silly, but doesn’t this happen all the time? Some 25-plus year old minor leaguer is promoted and makes an instant impact for a period of time.
As a child, Kevin Maas was the poster child for this. Back in 1990, the former Yankees “slugger” debuted at 25 and proceeded to dominate the American League. Unfortunately, the heir apparent to Don Mattingly failed to adjust and was figured out by opposing teams. The result? Maas’ career was pretty much over by 28.
Same can be said for former Mets Benny Agbayani who debuted at 27 and performed well the next season as well. When I think of baseball during that period, my perception is aging curves were pretty much ignored and rookies were lumped together regardless of age. If a 22 and 27 year old debuted and performed similarly, equivalent careers were expected. We know better now.
In situations like this, I’ll always take the opportunity to sell high and cash in while the getting is good. After reviewing a number of at bats, I suspect Major League pitchers will make a concerted effort to change Davis’ eye level and attack him up more. Once this occurs, the holes in his uppercut swing may be exposed. For the Brewers sake, I hope I’m wrong, but don’t bet on it.
3 Feb 2014 / Mike Newman /
1-On-1 ROTO Strategy Session
The Best Of RS
- Can Alex "Chi-Chi" Gonzalez Crack the Texas Rangers Opening Day Rotation?
- Fantasy Baseball Trade Deadline 101: A Former MLB GM’s Take
- Felix Hernandez and Solo Home Run Situations: A Blueprint For Longevity
- JR Graham: Is He Still An MLB Arm For The Atlanta Braves?
- Mason Williams: Is It Time To Label Him A Bust For The Yankees?
- Mike Newman's Top-50 Fantasy Baseball Prospects Scouted in 2014
- Nick Kingham Scouting Report (2014)
- Rangers Joey Gallo, Marlins Giancarlo Stanton And Strikeouts
- The ROTOscouting Baseball Podcast
- Top-10 Fantasy Baseball Prospects By Team
- Will Mike Moustakas Finally Put It Together Next Season?