Friday, March 12, 2010
30 A's in 30 Days – Rajai Davis
Acquired: Claimed off waivers from San Francisco Giants (April 23, 2008).
Contract: One year thru 2010. (Eligible for arbitration after 2010.)
Position: Starting LF
Projected BA/OBP/SLG: (.270/.329/.375)
Over/Under: Most of the major projection systems have concluded that Rajai Davis' 2009 campaign (.305/.360/.423) was a fluke. Entering last season, with more than 450 career plate appearances under his belt, Davis' lifetime OBP was .314 and his SLG stood at .354. He was just barely hanging on to his roster spot as a pinch runner/fifth outfielder by the end of May – posting a .351 OPS in 44 PAs and accumulating a handful defensive/baserunning misadventures. Through injuries and other roster machinations, Davis landed the everyday CF job and hit .323/.374/.459 in his final 89 games.
He was undeniably aided by a .361 BABIP, but I'm not entirely convinced Davis is going to lose all of the OBP gains he made in 2009. He had 22 infield hits last year and as long as he can continue to use his speed to make the most out of all the groundballs he hits, then another solid season isn't unreasonable – even if regression from 2009 is guaran-damn-teed. Take the OVER.
By the Numbers: 75-80 – The A's invited Rickey Henderson to Spring Training as a guest baserunning instructor. After an extended session with Rajai Davis, Henderson proclaimed Davis could steal 75 to 80 bases this season. Only two players have stolen 75 bags in a season since 1996 (Kenny Lofton, Jose Reyes). And, Henderson was the last guy in the AL to steal 80 (1988). Call me skeptical of Rickey predictive skills.
Surefire 2010 Prediction: Davis WILL lead the A's in stolen bases. (See, Rickey…that's how you make a prediction.)
Tupac Track for the Season: Runnin' (Dying to Live)