WATCH: All 50 of Chris Davis’ home run swings in one GIF
Dan Wohl of MLB.com put together the above GIF of all 50 of Chris Davis’ home run swings this season after Davis hit number 50 in Toronto Friday night. It’s mesmerizing for a variety of reasons, but the most impressive one is the consistency and purity of Davis’s swing. You can focus on something different each time the GIF loops around. Watch the variety of directions the ball leaves his bat, watch the variety of pitch locations, pitch types, the variety of pitchers (right- and left-handed), deliveries, follow-throughs, ballparks, crowds, advertisements, game situations (thanks to the MASN bug), even the array of uniform combinations Davis wears. Yet, even though the camera angles differ, what should be the most violent part of each clip is the most peaceful and consistent — Davis’ swing: a quick turn of the hips and his bat slicing right to and through the ball, his head and body almost perfectly still as they rotate through the pitch, time and again.
As with the GIFs we saw earlier this season of Yu Darvish, Justin Verlander, and Miguel Cabrera, it sheds light on the least-appreciated aspect of these players’ success: the soundness and consistency of their mechanics. That, more than anything else, is why Davis has gone from being a player the Rangers buried in the minors then traded, to a MVP candidate in the span of just two seasons. No small amount of credit for that should go to Orioles pitching coach Jim Presley, but Davis is still the one who absorbed what Presley taught him and applied it to major league pitching with mesmerizing consistency.