Wade Davis
Wade Davis
33-Year-Old PitcherRP
Colorado Rockies
2019 Fantasy Outlook
A 43-save season and a 4.13 ERA are respectable for a closer who has to pitch in Coors Field. Davis has historically done an excellent job of stranding baserunners, but his 67% rate last year was his lowest over the past nine seasons. There was a time in his career when he had no interest in being a reliever, but his checking account is thankful he changed his mindset. He has lost two miles per hour off his fastball since his peak with the Royals, but he still has three above-average pitches he can use in his fastball, cutter and curveball. That type of repertoire is one we normally associate with pitchers who dominate same-handed hitters, but it has been the righty hitters that have had greater success in recent seasons. His opponents' weighted on-base average against righties has increased each of the past five seasons and 2018 was more than double what that metric was in 2014. He gets the saves, but he's not as sexy as other closers. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a three-year, $52 million contract with the Rockies in December of 2017. Contract includes a $15 million club option for the 2021 season.
Back in closer's role
PColorado Rockies
August 18, 2019
Davis will return to the closer's role after Scott Oberg (blood clot) was ruled out for the remainder of the season, Nick Groke of The Athletic reports.
Davis has logged four straight scoreless appearances, with only one of those coming at home. He has a 9.70 ERA at home and a 0.63 ERA on the road, and the Rockies head on a week-long road trip next week, so he is worth adding in most roto formats.
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2017
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2017vs Left .173 309 92 34 47 10 4 3
Since 2017vs Right .241 362 101 42 76 11 0 16
2019vs Left .258 72 15 9 16 4 1 0
2019vs Right .301 96 21 13 25 2 0 5
2018vs Left .140 126 40 12 16 2 3 2
2018vs Right .227 135 38 14 27 5 0 6
2017vs Left .156 111 37 13 15 4 0 1
2017vs Right .211 131 42 15 24 4 0 5
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2017
ERA on Road
ERA on Road
ERA on Road
ERA at Home
Since 2017Home 4.86 1.30 90.2 6 9 41 10.1 4.0 1.2
Since 2017Away 3.00 1.17 69.0 2 4 49 11.9 4.7 0.9
2019Home 10.97 2.11 21.1 0 5 8 8.4 5.1 1.7
2019Away 0.63 1.26 14.1 1 0 7 10.0 6.3 0.6
2018Home 4.73 1.08 32.1 3 3 16 10.3 2.8 1.4
2018Away 3.55 1.03 33.0 0 3 27 11.2 4.4 0.8
2017Home 1.46 1.03 37.0 3 1 17 10.9 4.4 0.7
2017Away 3.74 1.34 21.2 1 1 15 14.1 4.2 1.2
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Stat Review
How does Wade Davis compare to other relievers?
This section compares his stats with all relief pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 30 innings)*. 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.

* Exit Velocity, Barrels/BBE %, Balls Hit 95+ MPH %, and Spin Rate are benchmarked against this season's data (min 20 IP). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • K/BB
    Strikeout to walk ratio.
  • K/9
    Average strikeouts per nine innings.
  • BB/9
    Average walks per nine innings.
  • HR/9
    Average home runs allowed per nine innings.
  • Fastball
    Average fastball velocity.
  • ERA
    Earned run average. The average earned runs allowed per nine innings.
  • WHIP
    Walks plus hits per inning pitched.
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many balls in play against a pitcher go for hits.
  • GB/FB
    Groundball to flyball ratio. The higher the number, the more likely a pitcher is to induce groundballs.
  • Left On Base
    The percentage of base runners that a pitcher strands on base over the course of a season.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Barrels/BBE
    The percentage of batted ball events resulting in a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
  • Spin Rate
    Spin Rate is the rate of spin on a baseball after it is released. It is measured in revolutions per minute (rpm).
  • Balls Hit 95+ MPH
    The percentage of batted balls hit that met or exceeded the 95 MPH threshold.
  • Swinging Strike
    The percentage of pitches that result in a swing and a miss.
93.5 mph
Left On Base
Exit Velocity
89.0 mph
Spin Rate
2574 rpm
Balls Hit 95+ MPH
Swinging Strike
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Defensive Stats
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Davis was a worthwhile one-year rental for the Cubs, as he converted all but one of his 33 regular-season save opportunities and then went 4-for-4 in the postseason. He didn't blow a save until Sept. 23 and did not allow more than four earned runs in any month of the campaign. The uptick in walks in recent seasons is troubling -- he's gone from 2.7 BB/9 in 2015 to 3.3 and then 4.3 last season -- and he was a bit lucky on balls in play (.262 BABIP), but the swing and miss goes a long way toward masking the flaws. Davis' 12.1 K/9 in 2017 was the second-highest mark of his career, while his 15.4 percent swinging-strike rate was a career high. Davis is more than a calendar year removed from the injury scare involving his elbow, and he is now the highest-paid reliever in history (by AAV) after signing with the Rockies. It's not an ideal landing spot, but Davis is still a viable target if you're going to pay up for saves.
When a 1.87 ERA is nearly double what you've averaged the previous two seasons, the bar's been set extremely high. Davis did exhibit a couple of yellow flags last season, most notably dropping a mph off his fastball, missing time with a flexor strain in his pitching elbow and a second straight year of a declining strikeout rate. Plus, his walks spiked. However, as usual, Davis did a remarkable job keeping the ball in the yard, not allowing a homer for the second time in three seasons. The righty reliever closed out September with seven scoreless outings, fanning nine with just one walk over those seven frames, which helped ease the residual injury concern. Even with the velocity drop, Davis sported an elite 9.8 K/9. Davis may not be one of the first couple closers off the board in 2017, but he still belongs in the top 10 especially after joining the winningest team in baseball in a December trade. If you prefer to pay for saves, Davis should be on your shopping list.
The Rays had Davis in the rotation until a crowded house put him in the bullpen for 2012 where he was absolutely dominant. Davis did so reluctantly and expressed a desire to return to the rotation. The Rays instead shipped him to Kansas City in the Wil Myers deal where Davis returned to his middling ways in the rotation. The Royals had a similar crowded house in 2014 and put Davis back in the bullpen, and there is no way he’s ever going to start again. Davis has been arguably one of the best relievers in baseball over the past two seasons with a 0.97 ERA and a 0.82 WHIP in that time. He got the closer role late in 2015 when Greg Holland initially went down, and he now has it full time entering 2016 as Holland is going to miss the season recovering from Tommy John surgery. Davis will now be drafted among the elite closers, and rightfully so.
Davis supplied the Royals with one of the best relief seasons in recent memory, as the right-hander did not allow an extra-base hit until his 44th appearance of the year. The 29-year-old also logged an incredible scoreless appearance streak of 33 games, spanning from July 27 to September 15, which was good enough to set a Kansas City franchise record. After making 24 starts for the Royals in 2013, the team finally realized he was best suited to work exclusively in relief, and Davis rewarded them by posting a 1.00 ERA, 0.84 WHIP and spectacular 13.6 K/9 rate over 72 innings. As long as closer Greg Holland remains in the mix, Davis will remain relegated to a setup role, but this doesn't necessarily place him out of fantasy consideration. His solid strikeout and peripheral numbers make him a quality option, especially in formats that reward holds. If anything would ever happen to Holland, Davis would take his mid-90s fastball, cutter, and curveball to the ninth inning, where he would immediately become a must-own asset in all formats.
Acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays in the Wil Myers/James Shields trade, Davis was expected to be able to carry his 2012 relief numbers over to a starting role as the fifth member of Royals' 2013 rotation. While he was better than his last go-around as a starter in 2011, he struggled mightily in his return to the rotation. An unusually-high .361 BABIP and 27.5% line drive rate seemed to be the cause of his problems, but he also struggled with his command, posting just a 1.97 K/BB over 135.1 innings. The Royals left him in the rotation for the majority of the season and settled on pitching him for roughly just five innings per outing, hoping he would eventually right the ship. When his struggles continued, he took a quick demotion to the minors and when rosters expanded in September, was brought back up but pushed back into the bullpen for the final month of the season and pitched strictly in low-leverage situations. The Royals have him under contract through the end of the 2014 season with options through 2017, so they're certainly not giving up on him. He'll likely get a chance to compete for a rotation spot during the spring, but he seems destined to make a permanent shift to the bullpen.
Though he was disappointed to lose out on the final spot of the rotation in 2012 to Jeff Niemann, Davis gave the Rays a dependable workhorse in the bullpen who did not lose a game while posting a 2.43 ERA over 54 appearances. The team did not want him to go back and forth from the bullpen to the rotation and opted to keep him in his late-inning role. The transition must have kept him fresh as he drastically lowered his walk rate and raised his strikeout rate. He also nearly doubled his swinging strike percentage to 12 percent, possibly caused by a significant uptick in the average velocity on his fastball, slider and curveball. Included in the blockbuster deal that sent Wil Myers to Tampa Bay in December, Davis is expected to move back into a starting role and open the year in the back of the Kansas City rotation.
Many expected Davis to take another step in the right direction developmentally and instead he did just the opposite. He finished the season with a 11-10 record which was kind of lucky considering his 4.45 ERA and 1.375 WHIP. A loss of one mph off his fastball may be partially to blame for the decrease in his strikeout rate which dropped to 5.14 K/9IP after a 6.05 K/9IP mark in 2010. Besides his fastball, Davis has a decent curveball as well as a slider and changeup in his arsenal of pitches. The problem for Davis is that he simply isn't missing many bats. His 5.9 percent swinging strike rate is well below league-average although his K/9IP rate was at its highest mark over the final two months of the season. There will be plenty of competition for the rotation in the spring; Davis will need a good showing if he's going to claim a spot as the No. 4 or No. 5 starter.
Davis had a very good first season as a full-time starter for the Rays, finishing 12-10 as their No. 4 option. An imposing force on the mound, he finished with a 4.07 ERA and a 1.351 WHIP which isn't too bad considering the division he pitches in. After a stint on the DL due to shoulder soreness in early August, Davis showed no ill effects after returning. Over the first half of last season, Davis struggled to keep the ball in the park allowing 18 home runs, but he showed signs of improvement during the second half and only allowed six more. Davis also improved his control, lowering his walk rate over the first five months after starting out with a gaudy 5.32 BB/9IP mark in April. Davis will be a name to remember in mid-late rounds of fantasy drafts and should open as either the No. 3 or No 4 starter for the Rays this season.
Davis heads into spring with a legitimate shot at cracking the rotation. At 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds, and armed with a 96-mph heater, Davis also throws a plus-curve and worked on improving his changeup and cut fastball. After a fine season for Durham (3.40 ERA, 1.254 WHIP) he continued to pitch well for the Rays in six late-season starts. He doesn't quite have the upside of teammate Jeremy Hellickson, but he should make for a solid No. 2 starter down the road.
Davis has been overshadowed by the attention given to David Price, but he had a decent season himself and is still an attractive prospect. Command issues were a problem at times for him this year, but the Rays still added him to the 40-man roster and will give him a long look in spring training before he begins 2009 back at Triple-A. The Rays likely will want to get Davis another half-season's worth of starts at Triple-A before they seriously consider him for a big-league callup.
Of all the pitching prospects in the Rays' chain, Davis may have the most promise. He survived his transition to Double-A well, although that increased walk rate indicates he might still have some things to learn. Ideally, the Rays would like to see Davis reach the bigs sometime in midseason 2009 or so. However, he'll get some high-visibility innings this spring, and if Davis shows he's ready, the Rays won't mind moving up his timetable to allow for a major-league debut by the end of 2008.
Davis had a great year at low-A, finishing the season with a no-hitter. Check out that strikeout rate, courtesy of a great 94-mph fastball, good curve and slider. He's not likely to make an impact in the bigs before 2009 at the earliest, but he's perhaps the Rays' best pitching prospect at the lower levels. He'll start 2007 at High-A Vero Beach.
Davis was a third-round pick in 2004 out of high school in Lake Wales, Florida. His fastball can hit 98 MPH, and he has made major strides improving his command and control. He is on several prospect lists as a sleeper heading into 2006.
More Fantasy News
Moves to middle relief
PColorado Rockies
August 2, 2019
Davis will move to a middle-relief role for now, Nick Groke of The Athletic reports.
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Falls apart versus Dodgers
PColorado Rockies
July 31, 2019
Davis (1-5) took the loss Wednesday against the Dodgers after surrendering five runs on four hits and one walk while recording only one out.
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Notches 15th save
PColorado Rockies
July 25, 2019
Davis allowed one walk and struck out the side in a scoreless ninth inning to earn the save Thursday against the Nationals.
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Posts 14th save
PColorado Rockies
July 14, 2019
Davis didn't allow a baserunner and struck out two batters during the ninth inning to record his 14th save in a 10-9 victory against the Reds on Sunday.
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Closes out Reds
PColorado Rockies
July 12, 2019
Davis pitched a perfect ninth inning to earn his 13th save of the year in a 3-2 win over the Reds on Friday.
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