FanPost

Chris Davis and his quest for Maris' record

Folks, I don't want to make a big deal about this, but Roger Maris is the single-season homerun champion in my mind. That record means the same thing to Chris Davis, who's on pace to possibly break that record of 61 set by Maris in 1961.

The Orioles have 66 games remaining this season and David only needs 25 more homeruns to break the record. I think he can do it.

Davis knocked his 37th homerun of the season on Sunday, tying him with Reggie Jackson's AL mark of 37 homers before the break, set in 1969. It was also the fourth straight game he's homered in.

"Superhuman," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "He's having some kind of year. I saw him a little bit when he was in Texas coming up. He could always hit home runs. He got his opportunity here to play every day and he's taken advantage of it. It's pretty impressive."

Impressive, to me, would be an understatement. Davis, apart from Miguel Cabrera, is having one of the greatest season's from a power hitter that we've seen for quite some time.

He's already set a career high with his 37 dingers, lapsing his mark of 33 he set last season, to go along with the 93 runs he's driven in this year.

"I think it's something definitely to be proud of," Davis said. "It means I've been doing my job, but it also speaks volumes about the guys in front of me getting on base and really swinging the bats well."

It's not that Davis never had power, so anyone who is suspicious he's doping can quiet down, he was just never good at hitting.

He's become more patient at the plate, with his walk rate is up 3.2 percent from last year. Probably one of the biggest parts of his game is the ability to drive the ball to the opposite field -- 11 of his 37 home runs are classified as opposite field, most in the majors.

When he puts the ball in play to the opposite field, his .537 average ranks behind only Jason Kipnis (.566) in batting average on balls put in play the other way.

His evolution as a hitter has come a long way and his brute strength is what is putting balls over the fence at such an astonishing rate, leading many to believe that Maris' record won't be safe much longer.

Though many could argue Davis is setting himself up for the same type of regression that Jackson saw after his 37 homerun performance in the first half of the 1969 season.

Jackson's power production fell off dramatically in the second half, hitting only 10 homeruns for the rest of the season, leaving at him 47, which was his career high. He said that he cracked under the mounting pressure of breaking Maris' record.

But Davis isn't a young player like Jackson was and his experience might help play along with some of the advantages he has over Reggie.

David plays in Camden Yards, a ballpark that is known to very hitter friendly, especially when the ball is hit into the power alleys. Jackson played in Oakland, a notoriously big ballpark and one much tougher to hit homeruns in.

Although there is one thing that could cause Davis to not reach the 62 plateau. Orioles manager Buck Showalter has Davis batting fifth in the O's lineup. That will cost Davis plate appearances over the season -- an estimated 30 over the entire year, if he was hitting third instead of fifth -- and those 30 missing PAs could be the difference between 59 and 62.

Now the record books may say that Barry Bonds holds the record with 73* homeruns in 2001, but in the minds of many baseball's fans including myself, Roger Maris hit 61 in 1961 and no one else has since hit more.

If Davis is within striking distance when late September rolls around, then I'll be cheering him on more than ever to reach the number that really matters, in 61 homeruns.

FanPosts are user-created content and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors of Camden Chat or SB Nation. They might, though.

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