The Khris Davis acquisition adds an outfielder with a strong bat to the Oakland Athletics’ roster
The Oakland Athletics have acquired outfielder Khris Davis from the Milwaukee Brewers, and shipped out top catching prospect Jacob Nottingham and right-handed pitching prospect Bowdien “Bubba” Derby as a result. To open a space for Davis on the A’s 40-man roster, south paw Sean Nolin, who was inked in the Josh Donaldson trade last offseason, was designed for assignment.
The 2009 seventh-round pick from California State University, Fullerton, will being entering his fourth major league season after posting promising numbers with the Brewers in 2015. In 440 plate appearances, the Lakewood, Calif., native hit a career-high 27 home runs with an .898 OPS.
Based on Davis’ offensive statistics alone, his raw-power at the dish resembles that of current A’s LF/1B Mark Canha. The 28-year-old’s presence in the batter’s box more than makes up for his below-average attributes in the field; nonetheless, he still will make the routine plays.
According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, it sounds as if Davis will be the Athletics everyday left-fielder.
At this moment, expect to see Davis and first baseman Yonder Alonso in the lineup on a daily basis. Although, it remains unclear what the A’s will do with Canha at this point. It’s possible that he could see the majority of his playing time as the team’s designated hitter with occasional appearances at first base against left-handed pitchers.
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Coco Crisp, who is in his final year of a two-year, $22 million contract, will likely be a valuable option off the bench, thus increasing the chances of obtaining some sort of production from the 36-year-old veteran.
A’s general manager David Forst spoke with John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle on Friday, and admires the impact Davis could have with a full-year of third baseman Danny Valencia and a bounce back campaign from Billy Butler.
The Brewers, in return, are getting a highly-touted catching prospect in Nottingham (if you recall, who was acquired last July from the Houston Astros in exchange for south paw Scott Kazmir), who is primarily known for his offensive prowess. According to MLB.com’s 2015 Top-30 Prospect List for the Brewers, the 20-year-old’s ability to drive the ball to the opposite field and vastly improved discipline at the plate ultimately makes him a future phemon on the rise. However, his below-average blocking and receiving skills is an attribute to be worried about. Perhaps the Athletics were willing to part with Nottingham due to the fact that his development as an everyday major league catcher, remained highly unlikely.
Derby was drafted by the Athletics in the sixth round of the 2015 MLB Draft. The green and gold projected the 21-year-old to be a starter and he posted solid numbers in his short-stint campaign between the Arizona complex and Vermont Lake Monsters — striking out 47 batters over 37 1/3 innings, with an equally impressive 1.21 earned-run average.