There are bad seasons. Then there are historically bad seasons. The Baltimore Orioles and Chris Davis fall under the latter. As of this writing, the Orioles are sitting on 112 losses. Not only is that bad, but it’s a franchise record. Now Davis can say the same — just that he holds an MLB record.
And it’s not one you’d want to hold.
Chris Davis finishes with a -3.2 WAR and a .168 batting average.
That's the lowest BA among qualifying players in Major League baseball history.
— Brittany Ghiroli (@Britt_Ghiroli) September 28, 2018
Baltimore doesn’t expect to use him for the rest of the season, but the damage is already done. And it’s not because he’s nursing an injury or anything like that. It’s because he’s bad — very, very bad. If you’re wondering, the lowest batting average since 1920 belongs to two players — Rob Deer and Dan Uggla — who hit .179 in 1991 and 2013 respectively.
The past two seasons have been bad enough — .218/.322/.443 with 64 home runs. So while the average was down, at least the power didn’t go away. It did this season, though. Davis is slashing just .168/.243/.296 with 16 dingers. He’s making $23 million this season, and will be doing so for the next four seasons.
Davis led the league in home runs twice, back in 2013 (53) and 2015 (47). And if he’s not hitting home runs with that batting average, then it’s going to be a long four seasons. If the Orioles even decide to keep him, that is. The 1B/DH turns 33 next March.
Will he turn things around next season?