Oakland Athletics 2016 Preview: Outfielder Khris Davis

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Sep 15, 2015; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Khris Davis (18) hits a solo home run in the fifth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 15, 2015; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Khris Davis (18) hits a solo home run in the fifth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /
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Oakland Athletics expect Khris Davis to be everyday left fielder for 2016 season

The Oakland Athletics newest outfielder, Khris Davis, only recently joined the team, but he is set to make a big impact this upcoming season. The Athletics made a trade with the Milwaukee Brewers on February 12 in order to acquire Davis. Oakland sent two prospects –  Jacob Nottingham and Bubba Derby – to Milwaukee in exchange for Davis.

Throughout the offseason, the A’s rebuilt their bullpen and added depth to the starting rotation. However, one piece that was still missing going into February was a left fielder with a big bat. After Yoenis Cespedes was traded in July of 2014, the A’s left field position has lacked offensive power. However, the acquisition of Davis fills this void on Oakland’s roster.

Davis is expected to be the Oakland Athletics’ everyday starting left fielder and for a good reason. In 2015, Davis hit .247 with 27 homers and 66 RBI. This is a pretty good starting point. But, with only three years of MLB experience under his belt, there is still a lot of room for him to grow and improve, which is exciting. If he is even a little bit more successful in 2016 than last season, it is likely that Davis will lead the team in home runs and RBI since this past year’s the team leader, Josh Reddick, had only 20 homers and 77 RBI.

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However, Davis does tend to strikeout a lot. In 2015, his K% was 27.7% – more than a quarter of his total at-bats. Additionally, in the 121 games he played for the Brewers last year, he accumulated 122 strikeouts. If Davis can learn to be more patient at the plate, he could really excel offensively in 2016. It must be noted that Davis was able to bring up his walk rate from 5.8% in 2014 to a 10% 2015, which is an encouraging sign.

Unfortunately, Davis’ overall defense is average in the outfield while his arm strength is below average. Thankfully, it is still a step up from Coco Crisp’s arm in left – but not by much. Last season, his defensive WAR was at an all time low of -1.1. Since the O.co Coliseum and Millar Park have similar expansive outfields, it is expected that Davis’ defense will not improve in 2016. Let’s just hope he does not get worse defensively.

Overall, Davis’ bat is the most positive attribute that he brings to the team. Even though he has not hit well so far this spring – just two hits in 11 at-bats as of Wednesday, March 9, there is still about month left until the regular season begins. No matter how he performs throughout the rest of March, fans should expect that Davis will make the Opening Day roster as the Oakland Athletics everyday left fielder.

Next: #TBT: Center Fielder Rick Monday

How well will Khris Davis perform offensively in 2016? Will he collect more than 80 RBI? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below! 

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