Orioles' Davis a Triple threat?

Orioles' Davis a Triple threat?
May 31, 2013, 9:45 am
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Baltimore Orioles designated hitter Chris Davis (19) hits a RBI single during the sixth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field.

(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

As the Tigers come to town to face the Orioles, Mr. Triple Crown, Miguel Cabrera, would again be leading the American League in all three categories — batting average, home runs and RBIs — were it not for the Orioles’ Chris Davis, who is the leader in homers at 19 to Cabrera’s 15.

Then again, you can look at it the other way: If not for Cabrera, Davis would be on top in the AL’s Triple Crown numbers.

Fox Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi writes about that very fact, but Davis downplays himself as a true possibility to succeed Cabrera as a Triple threat.

“I was telling people last year — my friends that don’t necessarily follow baseball — you guys don’t realize how hard that actually is,” said Davis, who is batting .353 with 50 RBIs to Cabrera’s .369 and 59. “Not just to hit for that average, but to do it with power. It’s just a very rare thing. There’s a reason nobody did it for a long time [since 1967].

“Miguel is one of those guys you watch, as a player, and he just makes it look easy. It doesn’t ever look like he’s overwhelmed or overmatched. It would be quite a feat to take a Triple Crown from him. I honestly don’t know if there’s going to be anybody else to do it — besides him.”

Whether or not Davis could surpass Cabrera, the Orioles first baseman is commanding the respect of pitchers who have to face him.

The Nationals’ Dan Haren, who kept Davis in check Thursday, said the slugger has matured so much since he came up with the Rangers.

“He had a lot of holes when he was in Texas,” Haren said. “I think he would admit to that. He’s always been a presence at the plate. He kind of scared you, with how big he is and how he swings the bat. But going over his [scouting] charts, what he’s hitting and not hitting, he’s hitting pretty much everything. I was really fine with the pitches I was throwing him today. I got behind him once or twice, but if I was going to walk him, I was going to walk him and move on to [Matt] Wieters.”