Way back when the Cincinnati Reds traded Mike Leake to the San Francisco Giants for Keury Mella and some 26 year old notaprospect, we didn't see the 2016 MLB All Star Game selections something that would be relevant in that deal. Mella, of course, was a promising prospect, but he was destined for A-ball and was years away from the big leagues at all, much less from cracking an All Star roster.
Of course, we were then what we still are today: idiots. Adam Duvall was that 26 year old so-called career minor leaguer, and almost a full year later he's the lone Reds player heading to San Diego as an All Star.
Duvall's emergence has been one of very few bright spots in an otherwise dismal season for the Reds - something that's also represented by only one Red making the game for the first time since 2009 - and his 22 dingers have shown that his minor league power wasn't just a mirage. Despite having spent the bulk of his MiLB career as a 3B, he's taken beautifully to LF, and while walking and getting on base aren't necessarily a strong suit, he's shown plenty of all around game to make this designation a worthy one. All told, he's now a cog in the lineup with five more years of team control to boot, all had for trading ten to twelve Mike Leake starts in a lost 2015 season. (See, sometimes rebuilding works out OK.)
To date, he's hitting .253/.290/.559 with those 22 dingers, 59 runs batted in, and a tidy 2.2 bWAR already to his name. The only question now becomes whether he'll attempt to be the second consecutive Home Run Derby winner in a Reds hat, something I'm sure we'll hear plenty more about in the coming days.
Congrats, Adam. Take boatloads of pictures and soak it up.