A look at how Nelson Cruz's start compares to Chris Davis' in 2013

To say the least, Nelson Cruz is off to a very strong start at the plate. Where would the Orioles be without him? Fortunately, they don't have to answer that question.

Cruz has hit three homers over his last six games and seven in his past 13 contests. Over his last 15 games, Cruz is batting .328 (20-for-61) with seven homers, 22 RBIs and eight multi-RBI games. Impressive, indeed.

Cruz's start rivals what Chris Davis did at a similar stage last year. Here are the stats of both after 28 games:

Cruz: .294 average, nine homers, 29 RBIs with .369 OBP, .596 slugging, .965 OPS.
Davis:.337 average, nine homers, 28 RBIs with .436 OBP, .705 slugging, 1.141 OPS.

Davis has the edge, but Cruz is in the conversation. Who knew we'd have another start by an Orioles player this strong to talk about just one year after Davis' early-season bashing of 2013.

Heading into Sunday's game, the Orioles were second in runs per game on the road (5.6), just behind Oakland's 5.9. Cruz was leading American League players with 21 RBIs on the road (in 15 games). His .678 slugging percentage on the road was second only to Albert Pujols (.733) and his five road homers ranked sixth in the league.

Cruz's eight multi-RBI games is one more than the next two highest Orioles totals combined (Matt Wieters with four and Davis with three).

Cruz has gotten off to some good starts before. His career .511 April slugging percentage and OPS of .861 rank second of any month in his career behind marks of .561 and .929 in July.

Right now, he is on a pace for 50 homers and 162 RBIs. His career high in homers is 33 and his career high for RBIs is 90. He hit 27 homers in 109 games last season before his Biogenisis-related suspension. He may have hit 40 then.

Two things that might bode well for his future stats are that most of his damage has come so far on the road and he figures to hit well at home as the weather warms up at Camden Yards. Also, Cruz has just 11 at-bats so far against left-handed pitchers to 98 against right-handers.

In 12 home games, Cruz is batting .217 with three homers and six RBIs. Against southpaws, he is 5-for-11 with a double, homer and four RBIs.

A few days ago I asked the readers if it's too soon for the Orioles to consider signing Cruz beyond 2014? That question is worth asking again. Also, will Cruz continue bashing most of the year as Davis did in 2013?

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