The Baltimore Orioles’ Chris Davis has gone from being a celebrated $161 million guaranteed contract winner to the very edge of setting the record for baseball’s worst hitting slump, and fans are not happy about it.
Celebrated as a great slugger when he was signed for that huge contract in 2016, Davis has proved to be the exact opposite for the Orioles and now stands only a few games away from MLB’s worst hitting slump, Baltimore’s CBS affiliate reports.
Davis’ slump began last season, to date, he has not hit in his last 35 at-bats. If he whiffs just 11 more times, he will eclipse the worst no-hitting streak in Major League Baseball history. Matching the futility mark set by San Francisco Giants infielder Eugenio Velez, who went 46 at-bats without a hit between 2010 and 2011.
Unsurprisingly, Davis ended the 2018 season with the worst batting average in the whole league.
Sportrac’s Michael Ginnitti tweeted out the stark details:
Since signing a 7 year, $161M extension w/ the #Orioles 3 1/2 years ago, Chris Davis has struck out 35% of the time he gets in the batter’s box, including 0-17 w/ 11 Ks to start 2019. The 33-year-old has $68M remaining on his contract thru 2022.https://t.co/vl93nIh8gD
— Spotrac (@spotrac) April 5, 2019
None of this is lost on the fans. After his third strike out during Thursday’s home opener, a shower of boos rained down on Davis from the stands.
— Kyle J. Andrews (@KyleJAndrews_) April 4, 2019
Davis said that the wave of hate surprised him.
“It’s not something I was really expecting,” Davis told the media in a post-game interview. “It was tough. At the same time, I heard it a lot last year, and rightfully so. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: I understand the frustration. Nobody’s more frustrated than I am. Especially a day like today, the kind of game we were having, really kind of had them on their heels the whole game. It was a frustrating game for me personally.”
Earning the worst batting average last season was bad enough, but fans hope he doesn’t earn himself the even sadder record of the worst hitting slump in MLB history. Regardless, though, his bank account won’t suffer, and that may just be salt in the wound for the fans.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.