Adam Duvall has been pelting meatballs with proficient regularity so far this season, in the process becoming one of the lone revelations at the big league level in an otherwise punted season for the Cincinnati Reds. His two-dinger afternoon against the Colorado Rockies on Memorial Day moved his season slugging percentage up to a tidy .606, which currently sits as the 5th best among all qualified players in all of baseball. Duvall is far from a five-tool guy, and he's most certainly not going to ever really hit for average or steal bases, but the one tool he has in his arsenal that has always stood out even among his more celebrated peers is his power, and it has so far flourished.
Duvall and his .335 ISO - 2nd in all of baseball to just David Ortiz - have certainly caught the eye of The Enquirer's Zach Buchanan, who wondered in this morning's BAR if Duvall has a legitimate chance to make the 2016 All Star Game as the Cincinnati rep. Buchanan admits that it's a longshot, just like the chances of Duvall keeping a .911 OPS with and OBP hovering just barely above .300, but the fact remains that someone's going to have to be selected from this team and there just aren't a ton of other legitimate candidates. Zack Cozart owns just a .706 OPS over the last month, Jay Bruce's defensive swoon has him still as a negative WAR player, and Dan Straily seems as big of a longshot as Duvall himself.
One thing that is damn intriguing, though: Adam Duvall in the Dinger Derby opposite Todd Frazier.
If - and it's still a very, very small sample size if - Duvall continues to rake and stake claim to being a viable LF for Cincinnati for the foreseeable future, it makes you wonder what then becomes of top hitting prospect Jesse Winker, long presumed to be nothing more defensively than a LF. Well, I'm sure it's simply coincidence and pure happenstance, but the last nine starts that Winker has made at AAA Louisville have not come in his customary LF position. Instead, he's started all of them in RF (despite having made zero starts there this season prior to this stretch).
Speaking of which, the Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo asserted again yesterday that current RF Jay Bruce is "available," but that he won't come cheap. To this I would simply say, "Yes. And, yes, that's why he's still on the Reds after having been 'available' for over a year now."
In a somewhat similar vein, Jason Linden opined at Redleg Nation that the Reds should trade Duvall ASAP. I'll somewhat agree to the premise, albeit with the ever present caveat: for what? I'd trade anyone and everyone today if the return was an obvious no-brainer, but for the same reasons outlined in the article, I'm not necessarily sure the Reds would be overwhelmed by offers for him right now. So, if he tanks from here on, they haven't really lost much on him as an asset, but if they hold on to him and he continues to impress, they either have a trade piece or a viable part of their team. I'd place a HOLD tag on him for now, but I'd also bookmark Linden's post to revisit should Duvall finish the year with an .850ish OPS.
The MLB First-year Player Draft is rapidly approaching, with the 1st round set to commence on June 9th. The RR Draft Bureau has been hard at work profiling the players the Reds might select with the 2nd overall pick, most recently doing due diligence on high school LHP Jason Groome. As a reminder of both how important being successful with your high draft picks is and how incompetent the Cincinnati Reds were at the turn of the century, talking/tweeting head Keith Law reminded us this morning of the team's 2001 draft - and I'm guessing you don't need a reminder of how godawful the years following were at the big league level.
Finally, Jon Moscot will start tonight in Denver as he makes his return from the 15-day DL. There will need to be a 25-man roster spot opened for him at some point today, and my best guess is that either Daniel Wright or AJ Morris gets optioned back to Louisville. We should know something shortly (AKA immediately after this publishes).