Dodgers: Options to Fill the Dodgers’ Left Field Hole
By Sunit Bhakta
Khris Davis, Oakland Athletics
No one is ever going to accuse Khris Davis of good contact skills or defense. But what we will laud him for is his tremendous power. Playing in a pitcher’s park the last two seasons, Davis has tallied campaigns of 42 home runs in 2016 and 43 in 2017.
And before that, he hit 22 in 2014 and 27 in 2015. In 2013 he hit 11 in just 153 plate appearances. He does strikeout a lot (29.9%) but also has a good walk rate (11.2%). And let’s be honest, if we are going to let Joc Pederson slide with bad strikeout numbers up until this year, why can’t we be happy with a guy with a much better slash line and more power?
He hit .247/.336/.528 last season. He may not make a lot of contact, but when he does, he makes the most of it with a 42.1% hard contact rate and just 13.5% soft contact rate. And that .864 OPS looks so much better than what Los Angeles received from their guys in 2017.
He is bad on defense, but left field is one of the two places you hide your worst defenders. And with a bat like his, the defensive shortcomings may be overlooked.
A’s president Billy Beane is known for flipping his best players for young players or prospects before they get too expensive, and in recent years. And like Ozuna, Davis is entering his second year or arbitration and is under team control through 2019.
When Beane traded Josh Donaldson after 2014, the return was underwhelming for a guy who’d eventually win an MVP player. The Dodgers can look at that and use that trade as a parameter. Davis is nowhere near the player Donaldson is, so LA shouldn’t have to give up an elite prospect.
If Beane wants to maximize the value for Davis, now would be the ideal time.