Khris Davis led all of baseball with 48 dingers this season, made himself into a fringe MVP candidate, and used his mighty bat to help carry the Oakland Athletics to the AL play-in game. But the best thing about Davis is that he went 0-for-2 in the final game of the regular season on Sunday before getting subbed out, leaving him with a .247 average on the year.
If that number seems unspectacular, even for a slugger, in context it is astounding. It is the platonic ideal of the phrase “batting average.” Davis has now hit .247 in each of his last four seasons, becoming (quite obviously) the first player in baseball ever to have the same batting average in that many consecutive years. (He was already the first to do it thrice with a minimum of 400 plate appearances.) Davis, a .248 career hitter, has hit exactly .247 in 80 percent of his full seasons, and you’d have to go back to his 2014 with the Brewers, when he batted a meek and lowly .244, to find an aberrant average.
Nobody really knows what to make of this. “You know what? That is just tough to comprehend,” said Bob Melvin, A’s manager. And Davis himself couldn’t do much more than shrug:
What are the odds that a player accomplishes a feat like this? I have no idea, but I can tell you the odds that Khris Davis gets a hit in any given at-bat.