There are seasons that are truly dominant, yet cannot really be quantified by normal statistical means. For example, there was Fred Dunlap‘s 1884 season for the St. Louis Maroons of the Union Association. He produced a .412/.448/.621 batting line, which led to an OPS+ of 256. That would be the record until Barry Bonds 2001 season, when he posted an OPS+ of 259.
While baseball had not seen a season like the one Dunlap produced for 117 years, the KC Royals Wade Davis is in the midst of a historic run as well. We all know that he has allowed only one earned run all year, a run that should not even have occurred as an incorrect call after replay led to that run scoring. Yet, even knowing that, we may not realize exactly how dominant Davis has been.
Yes, one can look at the raw numbers and be astounded. Davis has been utterly dominant, posting a 0.26 ERA and a 0.800 WHiP. While he is not striking out as many batters, with 39 strikeouts in his 35 innings of work, Davis has been virtually unhittable all season, allowing only 16 hits. Davis has also yet to allow a home run since he was converted into a reliever for the Royals.
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Even those numbers may not tell the true story for how impressive this season has been for Wade Davis. Perhaps this best way to illustrate his performance is to look at Davis’ ERA+ for this season. Thus far, Davis has an ERA+ of 1562. Yes, that number is correct. To put this number into context, the best ERA+ for any pitcher who has pitched over 50 innings in a season belongs to Fernando Rodney, who posted an ERA+ of 641 in 2012.
Based on their ERA+ marks, Davis has put together a season that is more than twice as great as what Rodney’s 2012 season was. Going back to OPS+, and the single season mark of 268 set by Bonds in 2002, what Davis has done thus far would be the equivalent of a player posting an OPS+ of 653 at this point in the season. Just imagine the PED allegations if someone managed that season,
Overall, the KC Royals had a 2.05 ERA from their bullpen heading into yesterday’s action. For as dominant as the Royals bullpen has been over the past two seasons, Wade Davis has been a large part of that. The Royals strike throwing cyborg has been a force unlike anything that has been over the past two seasons, as his 0.76 ERA and 0.832 WHiP since the start of 2014 can attest to.
Wade Davis has been truly special since being converted into a reliever for the KC Royals. This year, his performance could be historic.