OAKLAND — After Oakland A’s designated hitter Khris Davis hit his 30th home run of the season Saturday against the Detroit Tigers — his third straight year reaching that mark — manager Bob Melvin compared his unconventional hitting approach to Hall of Famer Willie Mays.
“The body motion [Mays] showed … was similar to what Khris Davis does. He opens up his body a little bit, but he keeps his hands back and he keeps his left shoulder closed and hits it out to right.”
Like Davis, who posts gaudy home run totals despite playing in the pitcher-friendly Oakland Coliseum, Mays contended with the notoriously difficult Candlestick Park, which often had wind blowing in from the outfield. Melvin said they both open up their lower body and stride toward their pull side during swings — a typically frowned upon method — to achieve power to all fields.
“I asked [Mays] when I was with the Giants [as a player], I go, ‘In Candlestick Park, how did you hit all those home runs when that winds howling in from left?’” Melvin recalled. “He looked at me and he goes, ‘Well when the wind was howling out to left, I hit some out to right.’
While Davis is no Mays, he is the first A’s player to hit 30 home runs in three consecutive seasons since Miguel Tejada (2000-2002). He also leads the majors with 21 RBIs since the All-Star break.
Outfielder Mark Canha is back in the A’s lineup after missing Saturday due to sickness.