2017 Orioles preview: Chris Davis

March 27, 2017 | Luke Jones

With Opening Day only a week away, we’ll take a look at a member of the 2017 Orioles every day as they try to return to the postseason for the fourth time in six years.

Manny Machado
Kevin Gausman
Adam Jones
Darren O’Day
Seth Smith
Mike Wright
Caleb Joseph
Donnie Hart
Jonathan Schoop
Mychal Givens
Ryan Flaherty
Brad Brach
J.J. Hardy
Ubaldo Jimenez
Mark Trumbo
Wade Miley
Welington Castillo
Zach Britton

1B Chris Davis

Opening Day age: 31

Contract status: Under contract through the 2022 season

2016 stats: .221/.332/.459, 38 HR, 84 RBI, 99 R, 1 SB, 665 PA

Why to be impressed: Despite his underwhelming batting average, Davis still ranked third on the 2016 Orioles in on-base percentage behind only Hyun Soo Kim and Manny Machado and posted the third-biggest home run total of his career. The slugger also recorded the highest walk rate of his career, continuing a trend of improving in that department every year since arriving in Baltimore in 2011.

Why to be concerned: Davis striking out too much is hardly a new concern, but the first baseman shattered a career high with 79 of his 219 being of the looking variety as he swung less frequently than ever in 2016. The left-handed hitter also hit a career-low percentage of line drives and more ground balls than he has since 2012, a trend that doesn’t bode well for his production if it continues in 2017.

2017 outlook: The Orioles and Davis will hope that a lingering thumb injury largely explained the aforementioned trends regarding his performance at the plate last season. Expecting Davis to ever challenge his all-around 2013 season is unrealistic, but coming closer to what he did two years ago appears reasonable if he’s able to stay healthy in 2017.

Not-so-scientific projections for 2017: .239/.346/.485, 41 HR, 99 RBI, 103 R, 2 SB, 655 PA