The 2012 season produced numerous surprises along the way including the Baltimore Orioles first winning season and playoff appearance since 1997. One of the biggest contributors for the Orioles was the team leader in home runs, Chris Davis.
Before we get into the interview, let's recap some of Davis's history with the Orioles and his fantastic 2012 campaign. Chris came to the Orioles in the middle of the 2011 season as part of a trade between the Texas Rangers and the Orioles as Baltimore sent reliever Koji Uehara to Texas for Tommy Hunter and Davis. Chris always had power, but never really got the consistent at bats to showcase it throughout an entire season and 2012 gave him that opportunity. Davis set career highs with 33 homers, 85 RBI, 139 games, 515 at bats, 139 hits, 75 runs, and wins on the mound with one! As fans will remember, Davis came on and pitched two scoreless innings in Boston during that marathon of a game and got the win on the mound while throwing smoke!
Many people were critical of the Orioles, including myself, when they let Mark Reynolds walk this offseason because of his high OBP and his defensive prowess at first base, but if you look at the numbers, Davis actually has a higher career fielding percentage at first base (.995) than Reynolds (.990). Although it may be tough to replace Reynolds in the line-up, Davis will be an upgrade defensively at first base in my opinion.
Now let's get to our interview as Davis was kind enough to sit down with us and respond to a few questions for our readers:
Orioles101: First let me just thank you for taking the time to do this for us, I know our readers will enjoy this. How did it feel to be a part of the 2012 Orioles knowing the team had been through 14 consecutive losing seasons and return to the playoffs?
It was exciting to be a part of a young group of guys with such promise after the finish of the 2011 season. We believed that we could make a run at the playoffs even when everyone seemed to doubt us. This, basically just brought us closer together and helped us bond as a team.
Orioles101: No question there were doubters, and they are already back as no one (outside of Baltimore) seems to believe the O's can do it again in 2013, I know we haven't hit Spring Training yet, but do you feel this year's team can match or exceed last year's team?
I think as long as we continue to play the type of baseball we know how to play and don't worry about meeting outside expectations we will be successful.
Orioles101: Speaking of being successful, you had a great 2012 with 33 long balls. Was it just getting consistent at bats that fueled your success or were there other adjustments that you made at the plate that also contributed?
I definitely think it was the consistent at bats. It allowed me to learn more about myself and get in game experience that I needed.
Orioles101: It certainly appears that you will be the everyday first baseman this season. Is that your most comfortable spot in the field?
Absolutely. I feel like I did not perform up to my capabilities last year and am looking forward to another shot at being the everyday guy.
Orioles101: After last year's 0.00 ERA they haven't asked you to move into the bullpen?? haha. What sort of things are you working on this offseason?
Haha, not at all, our bullpen was pretty solid without me last year. I've been working on my speed more this offseason. First step quickness can really help on defense and the base paths.
Orioles101: Haha, they are just saving you for the really long games. What are some of your personal goals for the 2013 season?
My personal goals are my own. I plan to do whatever I can to help my team win as many games as possible.
Orioles101: Love a player with that attitude and I know the Orioles are full of them. Just another reason to love the O's. Last one for you, who wins this year's Super Bowl?
Baltimore vs. San Fran – Ravens win!
Orioles101: Haha, good man! Chris I just want to thank you for giving us the opportunity to do this with you and taking some time for us. Best of luck in 2013, keep working hard and bring back the AL East title to Baltimore for us.
No problem, thank you.
Orioles101 would like to thank Chris Davis for taking the time to sit down with us and respond to a few questions for our readers. He is certainly one of the players that young baseball players should look up to, he has a great attitude, plays the game the right way, and is a stand up guy off the field as well. I look for Davis to have a fantastic year in 2013 and will be more than viable defensively at first base.
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