There’s not a more polarizing player on the Milwaukee Brewers than left fielder Khris Davis. The “old school” crowd scoffs at his low batting average, high strikeout rate, and poor arm, while the “new age” fans point to his power production, on-base ability, and his overall solid ability in the outfield. For all his flaws, there’s no disputing that Khris Davis was one of the most productive players on the Brewers this year.
Khris started slow out of the gates in 2015, producing only a .699 OPS and one home run during the Brewers’ awful April. He suffered a torn meniscus that caused him to miss all of June, and he was relegated to a platoon/bench role upon his return while the Brewers shopped red hot Gerardo Parra. After Parra was traded on July 31, Davis was reinstalled as the everyday left fielder and proved himself as a valuable commodity throughout the rest of the season.
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From August 1st through the end of the season, Khrush Davis lived up to his nickname by hitting an outstanding .259/.323/.582 in 223 plate appearances while slugging 20 home runs. He drove in 44 runs during that time, stole five bases, and was 39% better than league average offensively, as measured by his 139 wRC+. He was named Brewers player of the month for both August and September/October.
Overall this season, Davis put together a .247/.323/.505 slash line with a team leading 27 home runs while playing in only 121 games. Only Giancarlo Stanton had a higher average batted ball distance than KD’s 326.46 feet among players with 100 recorded at-bats. He produced a well above average 122 OPS+ and 121 wRC+ on the year, and he increased his walk rate from 5.8% last season to 10% in 2015. He stole a career high 6 bases, as well.
At .247, Davis’ batting average still isn’t where most would like to see it (though most can probably recognize BA is a hollow stat by now). His strikeout rate also increased by 5% over last season. Defensive metrics were down on KD’s work this season as compared to last, but he was still rated at 0.4 Fielding Runs Above Average in left field.
Khris Davis is by no means a perfect player, but his strong work this season earned him 1.7 WARP in an abbreviated campaign. His potent bat has proven capable of being an important cog in the lineup, and for his contributions this year Khrush Davis earns a “B” grade overall.