Kyle Davies

Pencilled in as the fifth starter. Very lightly. This is what happens when you (1) put up an 8.38 ERA, and (2) hide an injury. The team tends to lose confidence in you, and starts thinking about going with one of the DBack Twins, or with guys who have never pitched in the big leagues, or a four-man rotation.

Davies’ big problems were home runs, 14 of them in only 63 1/3 IP, and lots and lots of hits — 90 of those. Together with a slightly elevated walk rate, he allowed nearly two baserunners an inning, and that’s obviously a recipe for disaster. Davies was probably somewhat hit-unlucky in 2006, and did make gains in his strikeout rate, so there were some positive signs. Still, 8.38. Davies also has problems finishing off hitters. It was bad enough in 2005, but last year he needed nearly 20 pitches to get through the average inning, which is not going to work, especially not with last year’s bullpen.

Even slumped at the plate — went 1-23 as a hitter, though the one hit was a solo home run.

Kyle Davies Statistics –

92 thoughts on “Kyle Davies”

  1. Davies’ 2006 campaign stinked, but he still showed some good stints, and I think he still has a super high ceiling. He’s the Francoeur of the rotation, if he wasn’t that young I bet he would have already been booted. But he is young, and I still have all my faith in him. He’s got a good mix of pitches and when he’s one, he’s nearly unhittable. But (like francoeur) the clock is tickling and I hope/think he’ll turn it around for good in 2007 and throw some more CG against the muts

  2. I really like Davies and I agree that he has a great upside, but for that very reason I would not object to him spending some time at Richmond to work on his command. However, the problem is that the Braves are awfully thin when it comes to starting pitching. Lets hope for the best….

  3. Thinking of Cormier and Villarreal as twins amuses me greatly.

    Also…it’s National Signing Day!

  4. is it just me, or does davies remind you of a YOUNG, YOUNG millwood?

    same type of body-type, same long delivery, same types of pitches.

    and remember, millwood was shite his first few seasons.

  5. Wasn’t Millwood surprisingly good in his first few seasons? Like, didn’t he come out of basically nowhere to be good?

  6. That’s a great comparison Chris, I never really thought about it like that. I hope Kyle proves to be as promising a starter as Kevin was for us down the road. In some aspects, his season could help steer the Braves towards success…..Someone besides Smoltz will need to step up and have a strong season and nothing could be more positive for the Braves if a #5 starter gets 10-12 wins.

  7. Davies has often been compared to a young Millwood. However, there trajectories have diverged over the last few years. That said, there are reasons to hope that he can become a similar kind of pitcher.

  8. Millwood was actually quite good, age considered, in his first two years for the Braves before his breakout third year. If Davies had pitched nearly as well we’de be quite a bit happier at his long term prospects. Other than the physical similarities (which I won’t argue with, but it’s in the eye of the beholder to some degree), he’s really not comparable to Millwood in pitching effectiveness at this point.

  9. I agree that Davies’ ceiling could be high, but I definitely don’t see him as Francouer. I see him as a currently bad pitcher who could improve to being above average, while Smurph is a currently bad hitter who could improve to being a Silver Slugger. Of course, both of them could catch Alex Gonzalez disease and never improve.

  10. If there were ever a year for them to go to a 4 man rotation, it would have been last year. No matter how bad Davies and anybody else they try in the 5th spot is, I don’t see a 4 man staff happening in ’07.

  11. Stats aside, Davies does look like he has good stuff. Decent velocity and movement. No control. When he started nibbling at the corners then behind in the count threw beachballs it drove me crazy.

    I thought that Millwood was better is 1st or second season.

    I think that he has a very small window of opportunity. Again he only has to be decent for 6 innings now. Hopefully he can accomplish that or he may be back in the Commonweath of Virginia.

  12. Why do you think Davies has a small window of opportunity? He’s only 23 years old. The Braves have an injury prone rotation, and pretty bleak backup options. The only pitching prospect anywhere near the majors is Matt Harrison, and he’s at least half a season away, probably closer to a year and a half away. Davies looks to have ample opportunity.

  13. Ububba, great story on Lew, one of the greats of that 1950’s team. Always overshadowed by Spahn except in that one magical World Series, he was one of the great junkballers in an era full of ’em. Yogi Berra used to say that Ed Lopat threw so softly he could “catch him with a Kleenex” (he also said that Lopat had three types of pitches: “slow, slower, and slowes”); Preacher Roe had one of the great baseball names ever. But I’d take Burdette on my team any day.

    God knows he’ll be infuriating a lot of his old opponents all over again in the days to come.

  14. Thanks Ububba–I had forgotten that it was Burdette who beat Haddix.

    I can remember Burdette as pitchng coach in the early 70s. I am not what he could be said to have accomplished, but he and Aaron (and Ernie Johnson) were nice reminders of the franchise’s history.

  15. I was just saying that Davies and Millwood were similar in pitching in terms of styles….big overhand curve, plus fastball, change….obviously Millwood had the object of pitching down faster than Davies, but I still think there is a great deal of optimism surrounding Kyle and what he can do this year.

  16. Does the Millwood comparisons mean he’s going to be traded for a AA catcher when he gets good? I surely hope not.

    As for National Signing Day, it’s looking like Florida will have another #1 class.

  17. Hey, when you spend as much money on recruits as Florida does, of course you’re going to have a top-notch class.

  18. That’s not supposed to be an insult, is it? You do realize that if you’re not playing football, going to a small private school is a good thing, right?

  19. Well right. But if you’re cheering for a football team of a private school, you can’t complain that the big dogs spend more money.

    I go to an even smaller private school, and you don’t hear me complaining that our baseball, basketball, volleyball, etc. teams can’t land the Al Horfords or Greg Odens of the world.

  20. @14
    I guess I should have said this season. Villareal and Courmier wait in the wings. Being the optimist that I am I am saying that if Davies really sucks in late May and we are winning he goes back to AAA for more seasoning. If this team were constructed for future runs at contending then I agree the Braves would let him learn in the bigs.

  21. Rob,

    First of all I wasn’t complaining; I was pointing out a fact. Second of all, I wasn’t saying that Florida has a big budget; I was saying they pay kids to come play for them. You know, illegal stuff.

    And we’re talking Division I sports here, Rob, so your *actual* school doesn’t even belong in this conversation.

    And USC’s not a small private school. And USC doesn’t maintain any academic standards for their athletes. (And USC doesn’t try to compete in the SEC, either.)

    The only schools relatively comparable to Vanderbilt in size and academic restrictions are Notre Dame and Stanford. Stanford has the state of California and Notre Dame has the greatest tradition in the history of college football. Vandy’s in quite a unique situation. (And I love it.)

  22. No academic restrictions on athletes at those schools, Mac. That’s the point. I’m not saying we’re the only top-notch academic institution to field sports teams; I’m just saying we’re one of only three that hold our athletes to higher-than-minimum-NCAA academic standards.

  23. Well, let me retract that. I honestly don’t know about Northwestern and Rice. I feel no need to mention those schools — or Tulane, which you failed to mention — because their athletic programs are so clearly inferior to ours. I was talking about the schools that actually compete in major college athletics.

  24. I love it when Vandy fans whine. “We just can’t get talent…” jay Cutler was a first round pick. The Bears had a line backer from Vandy starting in the Superbowl. They can get some talent. Northwestern and Stanford HAVE WON TOUGH CONFRENCES in the last 15 years. Come on Vandy, get off your ass and do something, please!

  25. Davies’ minor league numbers and his age suggest plenty of reasons to be optimistic (his K rate, specifically). He has certainly had trouble adjusting to the major league level, but I think he eventually will. Like everyone else I hope it’s sooner rather than later.

  26. Stu, do you have any legitimate evidence that Florida “pays” people to come to Florida, sort of like how USC supposedly “paid” Reggie Bush to go there? Or is it just allegations you picked up in the Vandy Times?

    Just because my school isn’t D-I doesn’t mean my point doesn’t stand. You can’t root for a school that CHOOSES to have high academic standards and private status and then use them as excuses. It doesn’t go both ways.

    Once again, regardless of USC, Florida, Rice, Duke, etc. set their academic standards for athletes, who cares? They’re athletes. If they were there are Biochem majors, that’s one thing, but who cares if they’re there to springboard into the NFL and they’re just doing Tourism because it’s an easy major and people will help them because they’re good.

    Vandy CHOOSES to be small and CHOOSES to be private, so it’s their own fault they’re at where they are in college football. They’ll never win the national championship, they’ll never win an SEC championship, and they will probably never win the East.

  27. Vanderbilt is a top-notch academic institution? I even hail from TN, but that one makes me smile a little. No knock intended, but … .

  28. Smitty,

    Did you read anything I actually typed here? I’m not whining. I never said we couldn’t get talent. It’s pretty tough to argue, though, that we’ve gotten — or, more relevant to my point here — BEEN ABLE TO GET the talent that the other 11 schools in the conference have.

  29. Jeff K.,

    You can’t be serious. The rest of the country — except for those who’ve been spurned by the institution — would disagree with you.


    My evidence is that Florida’s in the SEC and isn’t called “Vanderbilt.”

    As to the rest of your diatribe, I don’t really disagree with you (as long as we’re still talking only about football). I never said otherwise.

    I just poked fun at Florida and you got your panties in a wad.

  30. Well, that may be true, Mac, but the point about Vandy’s standards being higher than these other schools’ is still a valid one. And you know it.

  31. Look, I don’t have a dog in this fight … I didn’t go to Vandy, Florida, or any SEC school, or any school being mentioned here. I wasn’t spurned by them, either. It’s just that Vandy, by my measure and most reasonable ones, wouldn’t reach “top-notch” academic status if it stood on its toes. It’s a very good school, mind you, and you should be proud to call it your current home or alma mater.

  32. Rob,

    Re: Paying Players

    Don’t be naive. All the bigtime football schools do it.

    I don’t want to cast stones—but what the hell?—do you remember Charlie “106 NCAA Violations” Pell and Galen “92 NCAA Violations” Hall?

    It’s like politics—it’s a matter of how much money you can raise and how many services you can barter. If you’ve ever been close to a big-time D-1 sports “program,” it’ll make you want to run in the other direction. It’s the slimiest stuff you’ve ever seen.

    Young, talented, impressionable athletes are accustomed to having their collective asses kissed. This is how it’s done.

  33. One more thing:

    You can’t root for a school that CHOOSES to have high academic standards and private status and then use them as excuses.

    Of course you can. That’s like saying you can’t cut off your arms and then use the fact that you have no arms as an excuse for why you can’t do a hand-stand. It’s absolutely a valid excuse, whether it’s self-imposed or not.

  34. Panties in a wad? I would imagine your panties were in a wad when you were thisclose to beating the future national champions at our field.

    So, because the sign out in front of the University of Florida doesn’t say Vanderbilt (unless it shows all the teams we beat last year), we pay people to go there? Right.

  35. Ububba,

    I know that, and I was going to say that, but it just gets on squishy ground when you start saying that one school over another offers far too many incentives to play for your school. To me, the whole argument of “Oh, well every school does it, so it’s ok for us” isn’t very valid.

    OK, so it’s valid for me to say “Yeah, I only have a high school education. But I’m going for these CEO jobs and I’m getting turned down. It’s not my fault I don’t have a job!”

  36. Rob,

    Haven’t taken any logic courses at Clearwater Christian, have you?

    I never said the restrictions aren’t Vanderbilt’s fault. I said the restrictions are why it’s tough for us to compete in the SEC. That statement is true, regardless of the source of those restrictions.

  37. Yeah, must be and so is US News, I guess. Vandy #18 among universities behind — among others previously mentioned here — Northwestern and Rice. When you include the highly selective private colleges (which one must if we are talking about “top-notch academic institutions”), Vandy falls off the face of the earth. But, really, don’t feel bad because Florida is much, much worse.

  38. Rob,

    It’s a matter of what a university considers more important—academics or athletics. It’s real simple.

    If your school allows non-qualifying athletes to matriculate & you offer them under-the-table incentives to do so, and you continue to offer them benefits & services throughout their “college career,” you know which side of the fence your school is on.

    With the exception of one game per decade, the notion of Vandy doesn’t keep me up at night. Why? Because I know that 10 years out of 10 my school will have much better athletes. There’s a reason for that.

  39. All I know is that the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s admission starndards kept us from getting top flight talent too!

  40. Jeff K,

    What ranking would you consider top-notch? I never said we were a Top 5 school. But we’re easily Top 20 — and there’s a good argument that we’re higher than that — and to me, that’s top-notch.

    For the record, those small private colleges ain’t got nothing on a major university with the resources Vandy has.

  41. Oh yeah? Well Clearwater will kick your butt in… uhh… volleyball! We were NCCAA National Champions last year! (The extra C is for Christian; totally different, but atleast my private school knows its role and competes where it can actually compete and stops complaining that it can’t because of their standards. You know what I mean, Stu?)

  42. With the exception of one game per decade, the notion of Vandy doesn’t keep me up at night. Why? Because I know that 10 years out of 10 my school will have much better athletes. There’s a reason for that.

    Exactly my point. Thanks, ububba.

  43. Top-notch means you’re playing with the big boys — the Yales, Harvards, Amhersts, Princetons — something Vandy doesn’t do. For the record, those small private colleges have at least two things Vandy doesn’t — top-notch professors and top-notch students. Those small colleges also have top-notch resources. Vandy’s endowment of a little less than $3B works out to about $460,000 per student. Amherst and Williams (top two colleges) have endowments of $1.5B, which works out to about $940,000 per student.

  44. Oh, Jeff K.

    1) We do play with those big boys. We go to law/med schools and make lots of money. Our professors win Nobel Prizes and write lots of important books. I assume those are the types of things by which you’re judging.

    2) Now, Vandy is certainly not full of top-notch students, but it has its fair share. Don’t let the few rich frat kids you know shape your entire view of the school.

  45. Vanderbilt is a very good school, albeit not in the Ivy category. It’s certainly the best school in Tennessee (I’m from the state) and probably one of the best in the South. Florida, I understand, is also considered a relatively good state school. Vanderbilt differers in one respect from places like Northwestern, Duke, and Stanford; it competes in a conference with no other top-flight (ok, above average) academic institution. Northwestern has Michigan; Duke has UNC; Stanford has Berkeley and UCLA. I think it’s more difficult for Vandy to compete–at least in football–in the SEC, which is why Georgia Tech left the conference years ago. My perception, at least, is that general academic standards at the other SEC schools are much lower than in the Big 10, ACC, and PAC 10. Florida is probably no worse and no better than other big-time sports universities in how they attract athletes. If you think these guys are coming because they like the business school, then I have some ocean front property in Nebraska to sell you. I was at UGA when Dominique Wilkins decided to go to spurn the ACC and go to a school with absolutely no basketball tradition at the time. Why do you think he did that?

  46. How’s this, though, Jeff K?

    Vanderbilt is at the upper tier, academically, of D-I schools that compete in athletics.

  47. @61 –

    Now THAT I think is a reasonable conclusion. In the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king.

  48. Marc,

    That’s fair. However, I think that today, UGA is actually generally considered the best of the state schools in the SEC (thanks in most part to the Hope Scholarship). It’s basically Vandy at the top, then Georgia and Florida at the “Good For A State School” tier, then Alabama, Tennessee, and Kentucky at the “My Diploma Isn’t Valueless” tier, and then the rest are in the “Football!!!” tier.

  49. Ok guys,

    Why don’t we talk about some real team…Virginia Tech. ;)

    Our Top signings:

    Tyrod Taylor(#3 QB and #16 on the Top 150)
    Blake DeChristopher(#12 OT)
    Darren Evans(#23 RB)
    Barquell Rivers(#11 ILB)
    Cristopher Hill(#20 CB)
    D.J. Thomas(#24 CB)

  50. Marc,

    I was at UGA with Dominique as well. The official story why he spurned NC State & went to UGA was that Coach Hugh Durham said to him, “Why would you wanna go to State & be the next David Thompson, when you can come to UGA and be the only Dominique Wilkins?”

    But I do remember him driving around town in that black Corvette.

  51. My one-eyed king would make EA his two-eyed Queen. (I’d settle on one-eyed Queen I guess)


  52. Well, my school’s athletes suck worse than nearly all of yours, except in sports like squash and lacrosse and cocaine. Our sports teams suck, generally speaking, even considering the unimpressive rest of Division I-IV (interesting fact: the Ivy League is called the Ivy League because there were originally four teams, hence the roman numeral IV–which is pronounced “Ivy,” get it?). As a result, there’s not a whole lot of school spirit as far as the athletics are concerned.

    I enjoyed my classes and got a great education, so I’m not really complaining. But I do kind of wish I went to a school with more sports successes to cheer.

    (Then again, there’s always Atlanta’s own Emory University: the football team’s still undefeated, into its third century! Go Eagles!)

  53. My thoughts:

    1) Vandy has plenty of good athletes (Jeremy Sowers, Jay Cutler, “Bobby Baseball” Ransom, et al)
    2) It could use even more than it has, considering
    3) It is in a tough, tough athletic conference
    4) Vandy could be eventually be a sports monster, but it would take
    a) Time
    b) Great coaches
    c) Lots of money (in facilities and under-the-table payments)

    It’s not going to happen overnight, and might not ever happen if it isn’t made a priority.

  54. I don’t have the figure handy, but the number of Butch Davis recruits from UM that went on to be first round draft picks is staggering.

  55. Jay-

    That’s not really surprising considering he recruited all of the juniors and seniors. Note that the freshmen who contributed weren’t starters: Teebow and Harvin, for example, were crucial to the Gator effort and played a coniderable role in the offense even though they didn’t “start”.

    But with that said, Zook was a dynamite recruiter and still is. He just couldn’t “coach ’em up” as well as some others.

  56. Don’t forget Sosa. LOL. I also remember he slumped at the mound (of course, at the plate)after Home Run. I know Sosa was a outfielder even though he was in minor league.

  57. actually, Chapel Hill (my alama mater) is MUCH nicer than south beach…south beach is nice and all, but the stench of redneck is overwhelming.

    now, i LOVE women, and there are no nicer women in the world than those on the Hill

    as far as academics: UNC is ranked 13th TOTAL academically by us news and world report. we are usually ranked top four athletically (along with UVa/Michigan/UCLA)–now, balancing academics with athletics, there is none better than Uva–but as far as recruiting?

    Davis by FAR. he inherited a mess and got the best DT in the nation, and stole a NC WR from ND…

    the best ACC class, along with last year’s 22nd ranked, and that help you say, and some COACHING means that in two years–whoa…

    oh, and btw, we’re still a bball school…77-73

    but anyway, as far as Davies…i like the guy, i think he’s a player waiting to happen, but probably not in Atlanta. he may, in my eyes, turn into a schmidt situation (learning to pitch in his mid 20s) after we’ve lost patience with him. i know ALOT of red sox fans who would trade for him after they saw him in fenway two years ago. my sister-in-law thought he looked like a young schilling. i laughed.

    if we could get 14-7 and a 4.10 era with 160 SOs and 80 bbs from davies, i would do handsprings. and, honestly, he does have the stuff, but does he have the head to do it?

  58. Chris,

    I don’t know when you were last in SoBe, but it may be the least redneck place in all of Florida.

    It’s models, Euros, GymQueens, hip-hoppers, high-end clubbers, Cubans—rednecks are the distinct minority, if they’re ever there at all. And I’ve never seen a girl in a thong in Chapel Hill.

    BTW, nice win tonight.

  59. Stu,

    That’s interesting about UGA because I had thought that Florida was considered the best of the SEC. I was a Teaching Assistant 25 years ago and I can tell you the administration cared very little about undergraduate education. (I was teaching a freshman intro government class by myself even though I had never taught before and had nothing higher than a BA in political science. Apparently, it has improved.)

  60. well, ive seen many girls in thongs at chapel hill

    but not out and about…


    thanks for the nice comments on the win!

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