Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Ben Davis - More Production Than Meets The Eye?

Taking a look at Ben Davis' Career Splits, it really looks like he's been harmed by playing half his games at SafeCo and QualComm Stadium (the Padres' former home), two parks extremely favorable to pitchers. Those parks seem to sap quite a bit of his production. Thanks to the wonders of modern Excel spreadsheets, I've been able to extract out Ben's statistics in AL parks not named SafeCo-


The OBP is pretty poor (and the walk rate low compared to his home averages), but the SLG and ISOp (SLG minus AVG) aren't so bad for a catcher. Ben's hit really well in the Cell - .375/.412/.500 - but that was accomplished against Sox pitching (and in only 16 AB). Assuming that a little bit of success helps Ben, he may be able to improve on those road stats at U.S. Cellular - notice that he hits a home run every 22 or so AB in non-SafeCo AL parks, as opposed to a home run every 60 or so AB in SafeCo.

I don't think that Davis will put up Miguel Olivo-type numbers the rest of the year (Miguel really broke out with his power this year), but it's possible that his production may not be a catastrophic drop off from Miguel's production. We may be talking about a drop from .270/.320/.480 to .250/.300/.420, which is negligible considering that Davis/Olivo would have caught about 50 games the rest of the year.

There's also the fresh start aspect of the situation. Davis could come in and turn his career around with the White Sox and under the tutelage of Greg Walker. I wouldn't hold my breath, but its possible even if it is not probable, that the Sox could be better off for the rest of the year with Davis. Of course, he may hit .095 with the Sox and find himself in the International League.

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