Chris Davis leads the majors with 15 RBI this spring. He’s  hitting .409 with an OPS of 1.247. Davis has seven doubles and four home runs in 44 at bats. He destroyed Triple-A pitching last year hitting .327 with 14 HR and 80 RBI in 398 at bats. He tore up Triple-A pitching in 2009, also hitting .327 with six home runs and 30 RBI in 165 at bats. His problem, though, is hitting at the Major League level.
After an impressive debut in 2008 that saw Davis hit .285 with 17 HRs and 55 RBI in 80 games, he was on the fast track to stardom. He kept his power stroke in 2009, hitting 21 HRs in 391 at bats, but managed to hit .238. Last year was even worse for Davis. He hit .192 in 120 at bats, with just one home run. The additions of Adrian Beltre and Mike Napoli along with the presence of Mitch Moreland make it unlikely that Davis makes the club.
The Rangers could choose to move Davis, like they did with Justin Smoak last year. Considering how he raked in Triple-A and the bat he’s swinging this spring, his value may not be greater. Time will tell if Davis gets a chance to deliver. If he gets dealt or is called up, just keep an open mind with him. He was a big time prospect before and he’s just 25. Perhaps he just needs one more chance to deliver.

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Chris Davis is a player that everybody clamored for last year. Why wouldn’t you? He hit .285 with 51 runs, 17 HRs, and 55 RBIs in 80 games as a rookie in 2008.

Then came a disastrous 2009 season. He let down fantasy owners hitting .238 with 48 runs, 21 HRs, and 59 RBIs. It was so bad that he was sent down to Triple-A Oklahoma City.

He didn’t let the demotion get to him though hitting .327 with 6 HRs, and 30 RBIs in 44 games. He then salvaged the season upon returning to the Rangers hitting .308 with 17 runs, 6 HRs, and 26 RBIs in his last 36 games.

Unfortunately his power took a slight hit as he rebounded. After averaging a HR every 17.4 ABs as a rookie, and every 17.2 in the first half of 2009 despite hitting .202. That number rose to 22.2 in the last 36 games, but worth the trade-off considering he got things back in order.

Where he was overvalued last year, he’s undervalued this year. He’s a great choice for a backup 1B or to fill your CI slot.

Prediction:  .270, 80 runs, 27 HRs, 85 RBIs

Past profiles:
Arizona Diamondbacks:  Brandon Webb
Atlanta Braves:  Yunel Escobar
Baltimore Orioles:  Adam Jones
Boston Red Sox:  Clay Buchholz
Chicago Cubs:  Geovany Soto
Chicago White Sox:  Jake Peavy
Cincinnati Reds:  Joey Votto
Cleveland Indians:  Grady Sizemore
Colorado Rockies:  Ubaldo Jimenez
Detroit Tigers:  Miguel Cabrera
Florida Marlins:  Cameron Maybin
Houston Astros:  Lance Berkman
Kansas City Royals:  Billy Butler
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim:  Howie Kendrick
Los Angeles Dodgers:  James Loney
Milwaukee Brewers:  Corey Hart
Minnesota Twins:  Joe Nathan
New York Mets:  Jason Bay
New York Yankees:  Robinson Cano
Oakland A’s:  Kevin Kouzmanoff
Philadelphia Phillies:  Jimmy Rollins
Pittsburgh Pirates:  Octavio Dotel
San Diego Padres:  Everth Cabrera
San Francisco Giants:  Barry Zito
Seattle Mariners:  Franklin Gutierrez
St. Louis Cardinals:  Colby Rasmus
Tampa Bay Rays:  David Price

1. Will Hideki Matsui continue to produce?
He will turn 36 this summer so expectations should be tempered. He’s also leaving the HR Haven that is Yankee Stadium. Plus, the Angels’ lineup is not as formidable as the Yankees was. Given his injury risk and new home, he’s a player I would avoid in 2010.

2. Will Scott Kazmir continue to pitch well for the Angels?
After a miserable 2009 with Tampa Bay, Kazmir pitched well for the Halos posting a 1.73 ERA in six starts. He is always an injury risk, but should post a low ERA. Getting away from the Yankees and Red Sox should help. Don’t expect a ton of strikeouts from Kazmir though, as 2007 was more the exception than the rule.

3. Outside of Kurt Suzuki, will the A’s have any decent fantasy players on offense?
Rajai Davis will get you a bunch of SBs. Other than that it’s a crapshoot. The only dark horse is Jake Fox, who could possibly put up a bunch of HRs for Oakland.

4. Will Jose Lopez have a monster year?
With Ichiro and Chone Figgins setting the table, Lopez should have plenty of RBI opportunities. He averaged 92.5 RBIs the past two years, and should go over the 100 mark this year. See where he ranks among Second Basemen.

5. Will Ichiro win the batting title?
With Chone Figgins hitting behind him and Joe Mauer playing in a new ballpark, I think Ichiro is the favorite to take home the batting crown.

6. Will Chris Davis bounce back?
Davis was everyone’s darling last year and he fell short of expectations thanks to his .238 average . He still managed to hit 21 HRs though, and was a force in September and October hitting .318 with 5 HRs and 21 RBIs in 110 ABs. Look for him to be better in 2010.

7. How will the move to Texas affect Rich Harden?
He’s pitched in the AL West before so he has a brief track record at Ranger Ballpark. It’s not pretty though. In five starts he has a 7.66 ERA, a 2.01 WHIP, and a .330 BAA. Couple that with his injury history and he’s a player I’d avoid on draft day unless he came at an absolute bargain.

Here is a list of Corner Infielders who could have breakout 2009 campaigns.

Yankees Rangers Baseball
Chris Davis
– In half a season (80 games, 295 ABs) with Texas Davis hit .285 with 51 Runs, 23 Doubles, 17 HRs, and 55 RBI.  He struggled in August with his average (.228), but he still managed to drive in 20 runs.  He rebounded nicely by hitting .325 in September.  I think he’ll hit 25 HRs and drive in 100 runs.

Billy Butler
– Butler was great after the All-Star Break hitting .305 with 29 Runs, 9 HRs, and 36 RBI in 57 games.  He hit .249 with 15 Runs, 2 HRs, and 19 RBI in his first 67 games.  He should be able to drive in 80-90 runs if he stays healthy.
Edwin Encarnación
– Edwin’s HRs have increased every year from 9 to 15 to 16 to 26.  His RBI dropped from 76 to 68, but that, in part, is a reflection of the 38 point dip in his average.  If he can get his average in line, he could possibly hit 30 HRs with 90 RBI.

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