The two players are like night and day and even though the spelling of the first name is different, you have to feel bad for Oakland’s dynamic slugger to have to share the last name with Baltimore’s strikeout savant. The current series between the A’s and Orioles have put a glaring spotlight on just how different these guys are.
Davis hit a double off James Shields last Sept. 14 but hasn’t had a hit since. He ended 2018 in an 0-for-21 slump, and after Thursday, he was 0-for-32 in 2019. The 0-for-53 streak is the longest hitless streak by a non-pitcher in MLB history.
Meanwhile, Khris Davis continues his rise as one of MLB’s all-time power hitters. On Wednesday night he got to 200 home runs for his career, and he did it in his 2,784th at-bat, which is faster than any other active player. He’s still just 31.
Davis leads MLB in homers over the last three seasons. Back in 2016, he hit 42 dingers, to become the first African-American player to smash 40 since The “Grandy Man” hit 41 and 43 in back-to-back seasons (2011-2012) for the Bronx Bombers.
He also became the fifth player in Oakland history to reach that mark, joining some legendary names in the annals of baseball dopeness; Reggie Jackson, “Big Mac” McGwire, Jose Canseco, and Jason Giambi.
The last A’s player to reach 40 was Giambi back in his PED-enhanced MVP season of 2000. With Davis’ 43 homers in 2017 and 48 in 2018, he became the first MLB player since Ryan Howard (2006-09) to have 40 homers and 100 RBI in three straight seasons.
Khris Davis grew up in Lakewood, California, played high school ball as a two-time All-State player in Glendale, Arizona and played his collegiate baseball at powerhouse California State University, Fullerton, where the 5-foot-10, 195-pound outfielder/DH hit .328 with 16 home runs and 58 RBIs in his junior season before eventually being drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 7th-round of the 2009 MLB Amateur Draft.
Tony Reagins was general manager of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim from 2007-2011. He was the fourth African-American General Manager in MLB history and graduated from Cal State Fullerton in 1991. He has known Davis since he was a boy and is not shocked by his power surge.
“I knew him as a youngster. His dad worked for me with the Angels and Khris was 10 when I first met him,” Reagins told The Shadow League. “And he’s grown into a player that’s very talented. When I first met him, he was just a kid trying to get reps at the BP cage before our pro workouts. Now, look at him. To have 40 homers in that ballpark is pretty impressive.”
Davis is another Black Knight that should be getting more press and recognition. After all, in a league that has prolific sluggers such as Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Mike Trout, no player has hit more fingers than Oakland’s Green Bomber over the past three seasons. He’s continuing the rich tradition of Black bombers in MLB from Josh Gibson to Hank Aaron and Frank Robinson to Frank Thomas to Ken Griffey Jr and Barry Bonds.
Despite his power surge, Davis has gone under the radar playing out in The Bay. Expect him to get more press if he maintains his current home run barrage. It’s still the most exciting play in baseball.