Rajai Davis's stunning range

By Jason Wojciechowski on November 14, 2008 at 6:22 AM

Check out this table showing David Pinto's range numbers for center fielders. Rajai Davis completely laps the rest of the pack. The leaders are in the 104 range in their ratio of actual DER (defensive efficiency rating) to projected DER, but Davis is off completely by himself at 107. Everyone knows he's a speedster, but it's interesting to see that he seems to be that rare player who applies his speed to result in high stolen-base percentages and good range afield. If he could get on base with any consistency, he'd be a dangerous player, but my impression is that he's just so punchless that pitchers won't pitch around him, and he doesn't seem to have the Ichiro or Furcal-like slap-and-dash game developed. This shouldn't be taken as a criticism of Davis -- the kind of bat control it takes to play that game is freakish and requires some innate athleticism and hand-eye coordination that Davis may just not have.