I'm concerned about the safety of Rangers fans right now. I'm afraid folks are going to hurt themselves, as they are pushing and shoving in their rush to jump off the Chris Davis bandwagon.
I have to say, it is stunning to me how it seems like so many fans have soured on a guy who was one of the most popular players on the team at the end of last year, a guy who it seemed like Rangers fans were being almost irrationally optimistic about.
The guy who everyone was penciling in as a key part of the future is now being dismissed, with folks seemingly anxiously counting the days until Justin Smoak can be called up to take his place.
He's 23 years old, people. He's a young power hitter who throughout his pro career has struck out a lot and been pretty streaky. He's going through a rough stretch right now...but he's also a guy who is a hard worker, who has shown a good approach and a willingness to make adjustments as he's moved up, and who has light tower power. And he's also someone who, to date, hasn't let his struggles at the plate affect him in the field...he's been one of the best defensive first basemen in the league so far.
The irrationality exhibited towards Chris Davis is exactly why teams don't want to rebuild...fans say they want to see young players play and are willing to put up with the struggles, but the reality is that, when a young player -- even one who has had some success at the major league level, like Davis has -- struggles, fans get impatient and pissy and are ready to move on and look at someone new.
So yeah, Davis is struggling. Through the first 7 games of the season, he has a.212/.284/.444 line, a 728 OPS and an 88 OPS+. He has to cut down on his Ks and hit for a higher average or else he's going to have little value.
And I could go drag out the stats of some other good players who are off to lousy starts, and beat everyone over the head with that.
But instead, I'll just mention that not long ago, there was another 23 year old first baseman who, in his first full season in the majors, put up a .236/.337/.371 line in the first 28 games of the season, good for just a 708 OPS and an OPS+ of around 75. And who folks complained was overrated, overhyped, and should maybe go back to the minors.
That was Mark Teixeira. And he turned out okay.
So let's put the torches and pitchforks down, and give it a little more time before we start calling for Chris Davis to be gone.