OAKLAND — A’s slugger Khris Davis might have a loud bat, but he’s a quiet individual who likes to keep to himself. That’s why revealing one of his deepest secrets came as a surprise to many.
In an article recently written by Davis himself for The Players’ Tribune, the outfielder described in-depth the notorious struggles he has had making throws from the outfield. Similar to getting ‘the yips’, Davis refers to his issues with throwing the ball as “The Creature” and said he has dealt with it ever since the summer of 2009 while in the Milwaukee Brewers organization.
“I’ve never really been sure how to talk about it publicly… so there are very few people who know that this is something I deal with,” Davis wrote. “Until now, maybe out of embarrassment, or even pride, this wasn’t something I wanted to bring out into the open. Part of the reason was that I never knew where to begin, exactly.”
Davis even breaks it down with a list of things that go through his mind when having to make a throw, ranging from asking himself ‘Is my arm in the right position?’ to telling himself ‘Everybody’s watching, man … make this throw!’.
A’s manager Bob Melvin has known about Davis’ issues for a while now.
Despite the constant fear that Davis deals with every time a ball is hit his way, Melvin has been impressed with Davis’ ability to deal with his problem as he could only recall having to remove him for a defensive substitution very few times over the past two seasons.
“For him to actually even come out and do that takes some courage. It gives you a little bit of insight of what he goes through,” Melvin said. “He can hit the cutoff man and when he has to cut one loose, he’s able to do it. You have to admire him for what he goes through and still performs in the fashion he does.”
Davis has also managed to keep his throwing issues out of his mind when he’s at the plate, evidence by his league-leading 73 home runs since the start of the 2016 season.
Not every player is a five-tool guy and Davis’ weakness clearly rests with his arm strength and accuracy. Although it’s been a problematic eight years for Davis in the outfield, that doesn’t mean he has not been working to improve it.
“He’s done a lot of stuff to try to get better at it. It’s just not a strength of his game,” Melvin said. “He continues to work at it. If you don’t have a great arm, you don’t have a great arm. But he tries to work around it and I think he does a pretty good job.”
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