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Some hitters are struggling and their track record suggests patience. Other hitters are struggling and it might be time to start getting a bit nervous. The Oracle gives his thoughts on some of those hitters, old and young, in the following piece. Both Davis' are discussed as are the likes of Granderson, Sizemore, Fielder and then the uber prospect Taveras who, once again, is dealing with injury.
Chris Davis has been out homered, are you ready for this, over the last 50 games by... Neil Walker (14 to eight). That should set off alarm bells for you. Davis has hit one homer in 18 games this year. Bells are a ringing. Davis has hit 17 homers in 83 games dating back to the All-Star break last year. Davis will hit 30+ homers, but with this slow start a run to 40 might be tough. Still, that bigger number is doable. We're still very early on here. Expect the big flies to come soon though. Pretty sure a guy who has crested 25 percent in the HR/F category the past two years isn't gonna stay at his current 6.3 level much longer. Now only has the power been MIA but Davis' also hitting just .250. I've got nothing to apologize for here. In the Draft Guide this offseason I wrote page after page of why I had concerns with Davis and why he would assuredly be overdrafted in 2014. He's not going to, never was going to, match last season. Wipe it totally out of your mind. Davis is way more a .250 hitter than .286 if you look at his skill set, so I can buy the average with little concern at the moment. Good news there though. His current 15.6 percent walk rate would be a career best, as would his 26 percent K-rate. If he maintains that ratio he will surely see his average increase. The loss of power is the big issue. As I point out all the time, homers are unpredictable by nature, but given enough time things usually even out. Eighteen games isn't enough time.
Khris Davis, the other Davis, has also had a slow start to his season hitting .258 with one homer and five RBIs through 17 games. As I wrote during the preseason, people were simply expecting too much from Davis this season. Let's pull back and think big picture. In 202 career at-bats he's hitting .272 with 12 homers. That's pretty dang good for a youngster. It's just that expectations were for at least 25 bombs and 80 RBIs. He could still get there, again I was never expecting him to, but boy is he messed up right now. Dude has one walk in 17 games. That makes Starling Marte look like Barry Bonds. Davis also has 20 Ks. Simply cannot hit when you do that. Hell, the guy has an insanely high 27 percent line drive rate and his .356 BABIP is superb right now and he still isn't producing. He's just not putting the ball in play. When he does everything is going into the ground (49 percent ground ball rate). In 10 team leagues you can move on. In deeper leagues that start five outfielders give him some time.
Prince Fielder is embarrassing himself right now hitting .205 with two homers and seven RBIs. Keep the faith. A rebound is coming. Fielder has only 11 strikeouts this season while he's walked 14 times which leads to a stupendous 1.27 BB/K mark. As long as he keeps doing that, and that absurd .217 BABIP rises – the mark has been at least .291 each of the past six years – good things are a coming.
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Curtis Granderson is hitting, if you can call it that, .121 with one homer through 18 games. Totally lost is he. A noted K bat, he's whiffing at a 30 percent rate, the worst of his career, and he's only hit 14 percent line drives (career 20.6 percent). He should settle soon, but that does not mean he's gonna be someone you can count on at any point this season. He's in a bad lineup. He's in a bad ballpark. He's been awful his last 79 games hitting .204 with nine homers and 35 RBIs. It's fair to be in panic mode here.
Grady Sizemore is batting .228 with a .286 OBP and .368 SLG. Are you ready to admit you were wrong about him when you thought he was going to be a strong performer this season?
Oscar Taveras had to be pulled again last night from his game at Triple-A with a left ankle issue. Oh don't worry, it was his other ankle that was operated on so all concerns are gone. Right. You should be worried that the guy looks like the second coming of Troy Tulowitzki. Doesn't matter how talented you are if you aren't on the field.
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