Davis named AL Player of Week after historic start
Orioles first baseman Chris Davis was awarded American League Player of the Week honors on Monday for his historic numbers and dominant performances over the first week of the season.
Davis hit .455 (10-for-22) with four homers and 17 RBIs in six games, leading all Major League hitters in RBIs and slugging percentage (1.136) and coming in second in total bases (25). Davis became the first Orioles player and fourth Major League hitter to homer in each of the first four games of a season, joining Willie Mays (1971), Mark McGwire (1998) and Nelson Cruz (2011).
"Chris just kind of understands who he is and what he has to do," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "He has some periods where he'll get away from it. Hopefully his valleys won't be as long and he can stay in that peak period. That's what he's trying to do. He's very mature about where he is offensively."
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Davis was the first Major Leaguer to hit a home run and drive in three runs in four consecutive games at any point in a season since Bill Dickey did so in five straight games in June 1937.
This is technically Davis' second straight AL Player of the Week award, as he shared the final award of the 2012 season with Tigers ace Justin Verlander. Hall of Famer Eddie Murray was the last Orioles player to win consecutive Player of the Week honors, on Sept. 13 and Sept. 20, 1981.
Davis was so dominant in Baltimore's season-opening series in Tampa Bay that Evan Longoria said the Rays would have gone 3-0, not 1-2, had Davis not played. He hit a three-run homer on Opening Day, recorded a career-high-tying four hits -- including two doubles, a homer and four RBIs -- in Game 2 then went 2-for-3 with a double, homer and four more RBIs in the series finale.
Davis put up the best offensive numbers of his career in 2012, bashing 33 homers and driving in 85 runs while posting a .270/.326/.501 batting line in 139 games.
"I don't think there's anybody in this ballpark that has a better Minor League resume than he does. Sometimes it takes an opportunity more than experience to get it going," Showalter said. "It's not like he hit eight home runs last year. I don't think it surprises anybody. I think that he's capable of it."