Evaluating Chris Davis

Chris Davis returns to the Orioles lineup tonight after missing four games with a sore right shoulder.

The Orioles acquired Davis from Texas with Tommy Hunter in the trade deadline deal that sent Koji Uehara to the Rangers.

Davis is a player that has put up big numbers in his minor league career, but numbers not as robust in the majors. The Orioles have now less than two months to evaluate him to decide if he fits in their future plans.

Buck Showalter feels that is enough time to get a solid look at the 25-year-old Davis.

“I think so,” Showalter said. “I’m not going to say, based on this six or seven weeks, say this is exactly what’s going to happen the rest of his life. None of us are that good, as far as athletically and professionally.

“But it gives you a pretty good sampling. You talk about track records of guys in the minor leagues, I don’t think there is anybody here sporting the background and minor league numbers like Chris.

“But, it’s minor league numbers, we’ll see. This is the biggest jump in sports, I guess you’ve heard that before. The good thing about Chris, there is about four spots you can put him and he’s going to be an above average defender. So that’s exciting to have that option.”

Davis is 3-for-17 with a homer and three RBIs in his first four Orioles games.

Coming into the 2011 season, Davis played in 422 games in the minors with 1,608 at-bats and hit .311 with 94 homers, 343 RBIs, 432 strikeouts and a .939 OPS.

In 238 big league games, he has hit .248 with 39 homers, 118 RBIs and a .760 OPS. This season, only J.J. Hardy, Adam Jones and Mark Reynolds have an OPS that betters Davis’ career mark.

In 48 games this year at Triple-A Round Rock, Davis was batting .368 with 24 homers and 66 RBIs to go with an OPS of 1.229. Davis has also played at third base and left field and made 56 Triple-A starts at third last season.

Davis is batting fifth and playing at first tonight against the White Sox.

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