What role will Khris Davis play on the Texas Rangers?

Sep 14, 2018; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Oakland Athletics designated hitter Khris Davis (2) on deck to bat during the fourth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 14, 2018; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Oakland Athletics designated hitter Khris Davis (2) on deck to bat during the fourth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
facebooktwitterreddit

“Khrush” Davis is now a Texas Ranger, but what will his role be on the 2021 team?

Texas Rangers fans are still saddened by the departure of Elvis Andrus, but can erupt with joy because Khris Davis can’t mash against us anymore.

Davis was a one-man wrecking crew with the Oakland Athletics against the Texas Rangers, but with limited playing time, what will his role be in Arlington?

Many of Davis’ at-bats will come from the designated hitter spot, assuming he stays on the roster.

Will Khris Davis matter much to Texas Rangers?
Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports /

As of now, Willie Calhoun has earned a chance to receive regular at-bats at DH, but struggled last season with injuries and the recurring image of being taking a heater to the jaw.

If Calhoun’s struggles continue against lefties, Davis could find plenty of at-bats as the designated hitter.

Early in his career, Khris Davis was the Brewers primary left fielder, but his defense has always been way below-average.

Davis has a career -27 DRS according to Baseball Reference, with a .983 fielding percentage, all in left field.

Additionally, David Dahl is expected to roam left field for the Texas Rangers in 2021, and he sports a much more reliable defensive track record.

So, if not DH or left field, where will Davis find at-bats?

According to Chris Woodward, he will take a look at him at first base.

"“He said he would work at it and wasn’t against it… We’ll get these guys at-bats and see where they’re at and they’ll have to earn it.”"

With Davis now an option at first, that creates more of a logjam with the Ronald Guzman/Nate Lowe competition.

Regardless of where he plays, he didn’t get the nickname “Khrush” for nothing.

He hit 158 homers over his five seasons with the A’s, coincidentally hitting .247 in four of those years.

He drove in 418 runs while in Oakland, and will no doubt add a spark to a Texas Rangers in desperate need of offense.

The Rangers ranked at or near the bottom in every offensive category across Major League Baseball, including slugging percentage (29th) and home runs (23rd) in 2020.

Texas Rangers acquired Khris Davis
Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports /

On one hand, Davis will bring incredible power to pair with big lefty Joey Gallo, but with the power comes with the swing-and-miss.

The Texas Rangers now possess three of the top seven leaders in strikeouts since the beginning of 2017.

Joey Gallo sits atop that list with 596, Khris Davis sits third with 542 and Rougned Odor sits in the seventh spot with 514.

Big power comes with a price.

Davis was one of many players to struggle during the 2020 season, but the Rangers front office believes there is more in the tank for Davis.

President of Baseball Operations Jon Daniels said that he expects Davis to bounce back after the pandemic-shortened season.

"“We think Khris Davis has something to offer our club. We believe last year’s results were not indicative to their true ability. He will be in camp with us, and from there, performance will dictate the roster and dictate the playing time.”"

With confidence from the front office, “Khrush” Davis will come into spring training vying for playing time and looking to win a roster spot.

If he performs well, he will likely platoon with Willie Calhoun at DH and play against lefties.

He could also be a significant trade chip at the deadline if he returns to his 40-homer power form.

If not, it wouldn’t be totally surprising to see the Texas Rangers designate him for assignment at the end of spring.

Either way, Rangers fans can rest easy knowing the Khris Davis won’t be doing damage against their team this season.

facebooktwitterreddit