When Davis signed as a free agent with the Indians in the offseason, he wasn’t expected to be much more than a platoon player. However, the 35-year-old journeyman has become the staple of the team’s outfield as an everyday starter. Now in his 11th season, Davis is on pace to bypass 500 at-bats for just the second time in his career.
From 2009-2014, Davis averaged 54 steals per 162 games. But last year, he swiped only 18 bags while getting caught eight times in 112 games — giving owners plenty of reason to believe that the tread had finally worn off the veteran’s tires. The stolen bases are what drove Davis’ fantasy value and without them, he regressed back to a run-of-the-mill option.
Well, Davis must have hit up the local tire shop when he arrived in Cleveland, because he’s running rampant on the basepaths once again. He’s been successful at stealing bases 85 percent of the time this season (17-for-20), which is the second best rate of his career. Davis ranks fifth among active base stealers, and he is on pace to take 40-plus bags for the first time since 2013 when he was a Blue Jay.
Davis has undoubtedly shown decay in some aspects of his game, but he’s doing plenty of things to make up for a career-high strikeout rate and his worst batting average since 2011. Davis is drawing walks at an 8.7 percent clip, well above his career rate of 5.8 percent, and he’s well on his way to breaking personal records in home runs, RBI and runs during the 2016 campaign.
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