When Rajai Davis was acquired on November 17th for Danny Farquhar and
Trystan Magnuson, many were not happy about it.
“Farquhar and Magnuson were solid prospects”, they said.
“We already have a Rajai Davis on the roster”, they said. “His name is Fred Lewis.”
“Our outfield is set with Wells, Snider, and Bautista”, they said.
“His career .330 OBP is terrible for a lead-off hitter”, they said.
“I like this trade”, I said.
Now with Wells and Lewis gone and Rajai firmly implanted as the starting CF, the door is open for him to have a breakout year.
Aside from the fact that he single-handedly won me a fantasy baseball title in 2009, here
are several reasons why I’m excited about Rajai Davis in 2011:
1. He can steal bases.
Davis swiped 50 last year in Oakland and 41 the year before that. With John Farrell promising to be more aggressive, he could exceed that this season. The last player to steal 50 bases in a single season in a Blue Jays uniform was Shannon Stewart in 1998. In fact, if Davis simply replicates his past two season with the A’s, he will sit tied for 9th in career stolen bases in Toronto franchise history.
2. His OBP isn’t criminally bad.
Sure you’d like to see a lead-off hitter get on base at a higher than .320 clip (Davis’ OBP in 2010). But that would have ranked him ahead of John Buck, Aaron Hill, Alex Gonzalez, Edwin Encarnacion, Adam Lind, Travis Snider, Jose Molina, John McDonald, and Dewayne Wise on last year’s club. Plus Rajai’s OBP in 2009 was .360 – much better. Besides, Devon White seemed to have success leading off in the 90’s, and his OBP was .327 during his Toronto tenure.
3. He will be the third Blue Jay with the initials R.D.
The first two did good things for this franchise: Rob Ducey (Canadian), and Robinzon Diaz (traded for Jose Bautista).
Though baseball-reference doesn’t back me up on this one (-2 Total Zone rating), he will look like Willie Mays in comparison to how Vernon played CF last year (-10 Total Zone). Plus, his speed in the outfield is never a bad thing.
5. He looks like a nice guy.
Look at him. What a man!
6. He can cut hair.
Image from Yahoo Sports.