Dirty Dining

The hammer of Davis
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Forget Chris Hemsworth. It's time to cast Baltimore Orioles Chris Davis as the title character in "Thor 2."

True, he'll need a blond wig, but he already has the hammer.

Davis crushed his third homer in as many games Thursday afternoon against the Tampa Bay Rays, giving him 10 homers in his last 10 regular season games going back to last season.

The final-week flourish in 2012 gave Davis 33 home runs in 139 games (515 at- bats). He has three homers and 11 RBIs in the first three games this season and has struck out just once in 11 at-bats.

The power always has been there for Davis -- he has 118 home runs in 472 minor league games, including 54 in 226 at Triple-A. But the sheer volume of strikeouts prevented him from building on a rookie season in which he batted .285 with 17 homers in 80 games.

Davis whiffed 150 times in 391 at-bats in his second season and hit .238, which offset his 21 homers. He had just 319 at-bats in 2010 and 2011 combined, and he struck out 103 times and hit .238 with just six homers.

He piled up 169 strikeouts last season and had a 30.1 strikeout percentage, which is in line with his career rate. But he also rediscovered the power stroke that he lost in 2010-11 and put up a 25.2 percent HR/FB.

Davis hit .270 last season, which was a product of a .335 BABIP. While the number is above league average, it should be sustainable since Davis has posted an above-average line-drive rate of 23.1 percent in his career and has so many fly balls go for home runs. His career BABIP is .337.

Due to his high strikeout rate, Davis will be incredibly frustrating to own at times due to his propensity for going into prolonged slumps.

For example, Davis went 16-for-105 with three home runs and 40 strikeouts from June 15 to July 25, and he followed it up with a 4-for-36 stretch from Aug. 6 to Aug. 16.

But his home-run production was consistent from month-to-month -- he had at least four in all six months -- even though his batting average wasn't.

Hopefully, having a regular position and batting order spot will help Davis be more consistent at the plate.

He is now the starting first baseman and should be the No. 5 hitter every day. Last season, he spent 38 games at first, 44 in left field, 29 in right field and 60 as the designated hitter. And he hit third in 36 games, fifth in 14, sixth in 42, seventh in 31 and eighth in 14.

Even if his batting average slips to the .255-.260 range, fantasy owners can expect better RBI production with Davis hitting in the five-hole every day. And the 25 percent HR/FB is certainly replicable for a player with Davis' immense power.

Now, about that movie role ...

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Thomas J. Harrigan at tharrigan@sportsnetwork.com.

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