Our list of the Top 25 Cleveland Indians in 2016 continues with the player who gave baseball fans one of the most memorable moments in World Series history.
One of the most iconic moments of 2016 for the Cleveland Indians came back in August when Tyler Naquin had his walk-off inside-the-park home run. That moment will always be remembered, but it was topped in the World Series by Rajai Davis.
You have seen it countless times, but this never gets old.
Although the Indians did not come out on top, that moment can never be taken away from Indians fans. It is one of the greatest moments in franchise history and the clear pinnacle of the 2016 season. The stupid rain had to ruin it all.
Aside from the greatest hit in Indians history, Davis had himself a respectable year for the Tribe. His line of .249/.306/.388 was down from his 2015 season with the Detroit Tigers, but his stolen bases went up immensely, stealing 43 bases in 2016 compared to just 18 in 2015.
Davis remained a consistent piece in the outfield all season, appearing in 134 regular season games. He followed that up by appearing in all 15 postseason games.
He is currently a free agent, meaning his best game with the Indians may have been his last. But even with the assumption that Michael Brantley will return in 2017, it would be nice if the Indians could get Davis back, even if only on another one-year deal.
The 36-year-old did not have his best season at the plate, but he remained an asset on defense, especially with Tyler Naquin’s struggles. He is a player who can be slotted into any of the outfield positions, although he will primariily serve as a center fielder if Brantley comes back, continuing a platoon with Naquin.
But perhaps the main strength of having Davis on the roster is his base-stealing abilities. Every time he reached base in the postseason led to a constant camera angle focused on him, waiting for him to get going and put a play in motion. He only had five total stolen bases in the postseason, but that included three in the World Series. At a time when every run is valuable, Davis was a major asset, especially when Jon “Yips” Lester was pitching.
As with Mike Napoli, who is also still a free agent, Davis was a key piece in 2016 who should be brought back for at least one more run at a World Series title. Given the core in place, barring any injuries, keeping Davis should only help the Indians build upon the success had in 2016.