Bats: Right Throws: Right
Height: 6' 1", Weight: 220 lb.
High School: Butler Traditional HS (Shivley, TX)
College: University of Louisville (First Team All-Region (ABCA), Third Team All-Big East)
Drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the 11th round of the 2010 MLB Amateur Draft
Debut: June 26, 2014
Rookie Status: Exceeded rookie limits during 2015 season
2017 Contract Status: Pre-Arb
Arb Eligible: 2019
Free Agent: 2022
July 30, 2015: Traded by the San Francisco Giants with Keury Mella to the Cincinnati Reds for Mike Leake.
The Reds had only two players on the All Star team last season, and only one of them is still under contract with the team. Adam Duvall rode a mashy first half of the season, where the righty slugger from just down the river smacked 23 home runs and 20 doubles, good for a .551 slugging percentage and an +.800 OPS despite an anemic .288 OBP.
He was invited to the Home Run Derby festivities and turned in a respectable third place, losing in the semi-finals to defending champion and former-Red Todd Frazier.
Duvall faded in the second half power-wise, slugging only .429 in the month of July (way down from his .691 SLG in May), though it wasn’t all bad. He maintained a higher on base percentage through the end of the year (a high of .343 in August), though it was a bit torpedoed by a poor final month.
All that’s to say: it’s not particularly hard to see what Duvall needs to improve upon. Adam struck out 27% of the time vs. a 6.7% walk rate, so when he wasn’t macking dingers over the fences, it’s easy to see why he wasn’t getting on base. He’s got to improve on that if he’s planning on back to back All Star seasons.
To his credit, he knows that, and he relayed as much to Zach Buchanan at the Enquirer, at least as far as lowering the strikeouts goes. He’s working on his two strike approach, choking up, defending the plate.
But it’s not about walking. Duvall sees himself at as a middle of the lineup hitter. A hitter that’s there to drive in runs.
“The main thing is driving in runs for me,” Duvall says in the Enquirer piece. “If I ground out to shortstop with a runner on third and less than two outs, I’m OK with that.”
That’s fine. But it leaves the margin of error fairly low, especially considering the number of players that had done what he’s done in the history of baseball (four others with a <.300 OBP and a >.500 SLG). If you’re not blasting homers, and also not looking to pick your spot because “it’s not about walks,” well, then you have just about as much worth as a guy blogging about baseball on the internet.
Adam Duvall will be the starting left fielder on Opening Day. There’s not a lot of speculation about that, because his 2016 performance has basically earned it. But unlike last season, where there wasn’t much of an option other than to roll with “Adam Duvall, Everyday Left Fielder,” ... there’s a top prospect waiting in the wings.
Jesse Winker’s been, basically, the only Reds top position prospect for some time now. Going into 2017 he’s finally as ready as a prospect is ever going to be. Unless he’s blowing the doors off of Goodyear, he won’t be on the team before at least May for service times reasons. That won’t stop him from taking Duvall’s job in June.
So, I guess that that’s the extra incentive for Duvall. That’s not to say that he needs it; he’s been nothing but good for the Reds since the day they traded for him. There’s still a place in the league for a guy that specializes in banging dingers, though the open market hasn’t paid out for it like it used to.