Rajai Davis
Rajai Davis
38-Year-Old OutfielderOF
Cleveland Indians
2018 Fantasy Outlook
After leading the American League in stolen bases in 2016, Davis finished tied for fourth last season. That's about where the fun ends. He missed time early in the year with a hamstring injury, and then limped to a .220/.261/.321 line in his first 30 games back. That led to a reduction in playing time before the A's shipped him to the Red Sox, with whom he played a minimal role down the stretch. Davis' strikeout rate went in the wrong direction for a third straight year, culminating in his lowest batting average in a full major-league season. Now 37, Davis is a full blown one-category fantasy player, and while stolen bases are on the decline league-wide, speed-only plays are becoming increasingly difficult to justify given how much it takes to compete in the home run, run and RBI categories. Plus, the speed with Davis isn't as safe as it may seem given it's tied closely to playing time and managerial tendencies. Read Past Outlooks
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$Signed a minor-league contract with the Indians in February of 2018 that includes an invitation to spring training.
Returns from disabled list
OFCleveland Indians
September 1, 2018
Davis (illness) was activated off the 10-day disabled list Saturday.
Davis had a brief rehab assignment with the Indians' Eastern League affiliate and now returns after spending the minimum 10 days on the DL. The 37-year-old should serve as a fourth or fifth outfielder for the Indians over the final month of the season.
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Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2016
Since 2016vs Left .633 428 65 7 25 33 .234 .292 .341
Since 2016vs Right .659 649 98 11 49 60 .243 .299 .361
2018vs Left .507 102 13 0 2 7 .221 .265 .242
2018vs Right .608 114 20 1 4 14 .228 .291 .317
2017vs Left .677 130 21 2 6 10 .244 .308 .370
2017vs Right .622 236 35 3 14 19 .230 .285 .336
2016vs Left .670 196 31 5 17 16 .235 .296 .374
2016vs Right .708 299 43 7 31 27 .258 .312 .396
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2016
OPS at Home
OPS on Road
OPS at Home
Even Split
Since 2016Home .663 556 89 6 41 54 .261 .307 .356
Since 2016Away .633 521 74 12 33 39 .216 .284 .350
2018Home .470 110 16 0 3 13 .200 .250 .220
2018Away .651 106 17 1 3 8 .250 .308 .344
2017Home .729 208 37 3 15 16 .272 .314 .415
2017Away .521 158 19 2 5 13 .184 .266 .255
2016Home .693 238 36 3 23 25 .279 .328 .365
2016Away .694 257 38 9 25 18 .221 .285 .409
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Stat Review
How does Rajai Davis compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances). The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
With 43 steals as a 35-year-old last season, Davis became the fourth-oldest player to lead the league in that category. He also reached double-digit home runs for the first time in his career, but a 40-plus point drop in ISO and a decline in hard-hit rate suggests it was largely a fluke. Keep in mind that Progressive Field in Cleveland was a top-five park for power last season, while Davis' new home park in Oakland ranked 29th for power. He will be lucky to even get to half his total from 2016. Further, the A's didn't run much last season, although at this point 20 steals seems to be Davis' floor regardless of team context. He should have center field mostly to himself, meaning he should approach 500 plate appearances again, but the totality of Davis' skill set is not worth paying a premium for.
Davis hit the free agent market over the winter after two solid seasons with the Tigers. But at 35, he is slowing down, so his most valuable fantasy asset -- stolen bases -- are in decline. Davis stole 18 bags on 26 attempts in 341 at-bats which was his lowest single-season total since 2006. He is coming up on the closing credits on his career, but is a lifetime .296/.351/.448 hitter against left-handed pitching. Davis' splits suggest he is best utilized as a short-end platoon option/pinch runner/defensive replacement, but he could garner more playing time if Tyler Naquin struggles in his first taste of the big leagues.
Other than receiving more playing time than expected due to the season-long absence of Andy Dirks, Davis’ 2014 campaign went pretty much went as expected. The speedy veteran outfielder provided the Tigers with a much-needed threat on the basepaths, going 36-for-47 on stolen-base attempts while splitting time almost evenly between the top and bottom of the order. Davis performed better than usual at the plate, slashing .282/.320/.401, which marked just the second time he finished with a slugging percentage above .400. His 37 extra-base hits marked a career best. He also chipped in with 130 hits, 64 runs and 51 RBI, which was just one short of his career high. Despite the somewhat improved performance at the dish, Davis proved once again that he’s best utilized in a platoon role. He slashed an impressive .356/.382/.557 in 149 at-bats against left-handed pitching. In 312 at-bats against righties, Davis hit .247/.290/.327. The Tigers are well aware of Davis’ deficiencies against right-handed pitching, and while Davis is unlikely to see as many at-bats as he did last season, he’ll still receive plenty of opportunities to rack up enough steals to warrant consideration in many formats.
The book on Davis remains the same as ever. He's one of the best basestealers in the game, and is just competent enough with the bat to justify a role as a fourth or fifth outfielder. His 2013 line (.260/.312/.375) was a near-perfect match for his career line, but he swiped 45 bags in 51 tries despite tallying just 360 plate appearances. The Tigers are expected to platoon him in left field and use him off the bench, where he should provide a nice speed boost over the next two seasons as a semi-regular contributor.
Once again Davis came into the season as a reserve outfielder only to end the season as the starter. The batting numbers (.257/.309/.378) are not impressive, but he did finish second in baseball with 46 steals. The Blue Jays re-signed Davis this offseason, and he's expected to handle the fourth outfielder role as Melky Cabrera was signed to take over the everyday job in left field. Even without a starting job, Davis should once again be a cheap source of speed for fantasy owners when called upon, and most of his playing time should come against left-handed pitching as he continues to show better splits against southpaws (career .290/.349/.417).
Davis was slowed by an ankle injury in April and saw his season cut short with a torn hamstring in August but still managed to steal 34 bases in just 95 games. He was effective in stealing bases while in the lineup, but his .238 average and .273 on-base percentage simply weren't good enough to keep him in the lineup consistently. He's expected to make a full recovery this winter, but will enter the season with some competition for at-bats in left field with Eric Thames and Travis Snider, so he may be relegated to a reserve role.
Davis cashed in on his stolen-base potential shown the year prior, stealing 50 bases on the season, but was slowed in early June and was limited on the basepaths thereafter (22 steals in his first 49 games; just 28 in his final 94 games). Traded to the Blue Jays, he's expected to be part of the everyday lineup on a team that finished the year last in the AL in stolen bases (just 58 on the year, and nearly 100 fewer than the A's). It remains to be seen if Davis will be given the green light as often in his new environs.
Davis emerged as an everyday player following Matt Holliday's trade to St. Louis and responded with 26 steals over the final two months. He doesn't walk enough (just 29 walks in 390 at-bats) to be an asset as a pure leadoff hitter, but the A's fell in love with his speed atop the order as the season progressed and he seems destined to begin the year in the same role. He was one of just five players with 40-plus steals in the AL last year and did so in just 390 at-bats. The A's aren't allergic to the stolen base as they were years ago in the Moneyball heyday, and there's a real chance that Davis could swipe 60 bases if he gets 500 at-bats as expected.
Davis swiped 25 bases in 100 games after being acquired from the Giants, though his time in the A's starting outfield figures to be limited with Matt Holliday's acquisition and a healthy (for now) Travis Buck to begin the year. Davis will still see ample opportunity to run with Jack Cust clogging the bases in the late innings, so don't forget about him when the endgame rolls around and you're looking for steals.
Davis came over from Pittsburgh when the Giants traded Matt Morris. Since the Giants shed a terrible contract, San Francisco came away winners regardless of Davis' production. But his .363 OBP and terrific defense was icing on the cake. Blessed with blazing speed, Davis swiped 17 bags in just 142 at-bats while with the Giants. However, he offers very little power with the stick, so he's best utilized as a fourth outfielder. For 2008, expect Davis to start over Dave Roberts against left-handers and whenever the veteran succumbs to the inevitable injury.
Davis has speed to kill and a first name that means "the king" in Sanskrit. The 26-year-old center fielder also got his first taste of major-league action in 2006, going 2-for-14 with one stolen base in four attempts. If the Pirates gave him a chance he could easily steal 20 bases -- Davis finished second in the International League with 45 steals in 58 attempts. Unless the Pirates face a series of injuries in the outfield, Davis is unlikely to see much time in the major leagues.
The Pirates protected Davis on their 40-man roster because he possesses blazing speed. Considered old for Double-A, Davis batted .288 in 499 at-bats with Altoona in 2005, stealing 45 bases in 54 attempts. A fractured right hand ended his season prematurely in August. Prior to his injury, Davis was ticketed for a September call-up and headed to the Arizona Fall League. In five minor-league seasons, he's averaged 36 stolen bases to go along with a .308 batting average. The speedy center fielder has never played above Double-A, and will likely spend the most of the 2006 season at Triple-A.
Davis, a speedy switch-hitting center fielder, who turned in a nifty 2004 with High Single-A Lynchburg, led the Carolina League in batting average (.314), hits (160), runs (91) and stolen bases (57). The Pirates thought enough of him to include him on the 40-man roster, but he still has a long way to go before he has a chance to become a new and improved version of Tike Redman.
More Fantasy News
Headed to Double-A for rehab
OFCleveland Indians
August 29, 2018
Davis (illness) will begin a rehab assignment at Double-A Akron on Wednesday.
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Placed on DL
OFCleveland Indians
August 22, 2018
Davis was put on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to Monday due to a non-baseball related medical condition, Zack Meisel of The Athletic reports.
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Stuck in bench role
OFCleveland Indians
August 5, 2018
Davis is out of the lineup Sunday against the Angels.
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Gets third straight start
OFCleveland Indians
July 29, 2018
Davis will start in center field and bat ninth Sunday against the Tigers, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports.
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Not starting Monday
OFCleveland Indians
June 25, 2018
Davis is not in the lineup Monday against the Cardinals, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports.
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