Born: September 4, 1988 (age 29) in Louisville, KY.
Bats: Right. Throws: Right.
- Drafted in the 11th round of the 2010 MLB Amateur Draft by the San Francisco Giants.
- Acquired by Cincinnati with RHP Keury Mella from the Giants for RHP Mike Leake on July 30, 2015.
- Made the National League All-Star team in 2016 while also competing for the NL in the Home Run Derby.
Debut: June 26, 2014 (Age 25-295d) for Giants vs. CIN (4 AB, 1 H, 1 HR, 1 RBI 0 SB).
Rookie Status: Exceeded rookie limits during 2015 season.
2018 Contract Status: Pre-Arb Eligible.
Service Time (01/2018): 2.096. Arb Eligible: 2019. Free Agent: 2022.
Adam Duvall is prodigious power hitter, someone who has hit more than 30 homers in the past two seasons. But the Reds knew he could hit for power. What they weren’t keen on was how adept of a left field Duvall would prove to be. He was worth 1.0 dWAR in his first season as the Reds’ left fielder, and led the majors by far in assists from the position in 2018.
What Duvall is below average at is hitting for contact, and he’s never been a particularly strong runner, either.
We’re coming out of our second off-season in a row of wondering if the Reds would be shopping Adam Duvall on the trade market. He’s a known quantity — someone who seems pretty well-suited to post .240/.300/490ish slash lines with 30 homers and above average left field defense for some time to come — but he’s also nearing 30 years old, a fact that might make a rebuilding team with a corner outfield logjam interested in seeking out a trade partner.
Alas, spring training has arrived and Duvall is already back to socking dingers in a Reds uniform, so it’s safe to assume that he’ll be doing that for the foreseeable future.
What can we expect that future to look like? In all likelihood, quite a bit like the past. Duvall has been very consistent the past two seasons, for better or worse. His on-base percentage climbed a whopping four points last year, but his slugging dropped 18. His strikeout rate dropped, but his walk rate dropped by the same exact percentage. Duvall is a high-power, low-OBP hitter who wants to drive in runs and will swing at any pitch he feels is necessary to accomplish that task.
The aspect of his game that is most likely to change in 2018 is simply how much we’re likely to see of it. Scott Schebler is a faster, worse-fielding version of Duvall who is two years younger, and Jesse Winker, at five years younger, projects to be the best hitter of the three, but also the worst fielder. Only two of those three can occupy a corner outfield spot at one time, and Bryan Price will have the difficult task all season long of trying to figure out how best to divide those spots. Duvall’s track record and age will likely give him the edge in the early going, but there’s no knowing how long that will continue, or what it would take for Duvall to cement or lose that spot for good.
We’ve long thought that Duvall would be an ideal bench bat — someone who has the right skillset to play a fourth outfielder role while filling in at corner infield when he needs to. He’s produced enough the past two seasons to warrant starting 150 games for a rebuilding team, but with Winker having the kind of rookie season he did, it might take more to impress the Reds enough to keep those starts coming.