Chris Davis Shelton and the Smoak Monster

In 2008 Chris Davis came up from Triple A  for 317 plate appearance with the Texas Rangers.  In that time he hit .285/.331/.549 with a K:BB of 88:20.  Davis was hitting home runs at an average of once every 18 at bats in the bigs and was positioned for a huge breakout year in 2009.  Baseball Prospectus listed his comparables as Justin Morneau, Lee Stevens, James Loney, and David Ortiz in their 2010 annual publication.  This is not bad company.

But in 2009 and the start of 2010 Davis hasn’t hit at all for the big league team.  A .238/.284/.442 line in 2009 is buoyed by his .308/.338/.496 compilation after the slugger returned from a minor league vacation. Again, a strong finish, yet his 2010 season has been a month of sorrow: .188/.264/.292. And back to the minors he goes.

Justin Smoak meanwhile was mashing Double A to the tune of .328/.449/.481 before cooling down after a Triple A promotion (.244/.363/.360).  Being described as “a switch-hitting version of Justin Morneau with better defense” by Baseball Prospectus’s team of experts means Chris Davis could face a long minor league exile if Smoak adjusts to the big leagues faster than his predecessor.

If he’s available in your fantasy league, grab him now.  If you have Davis already, even better.

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