Cincinnati Reds: Getting to Know Adam Duvall


Walt Jocketty and the Cincinnati Reds used this year’s trade deadline to further bolster the organization’s pitching depth, but the team did acquire one position player, Adam Duvall, in the Mike Leake deal.

Duvall, a 26-year-old third baseman who also has experience at first, second, and left field, bats and throws right-handed. He was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the 11th round of the 2010 draft out of his hometown college, the University of Louisville. He started his college career at Western Kentucky University before transferring to Chipola College in Florida for his sophomore season. Following the 2008 season, he was on the move again, this time to Louisville. In his two seasons with the Cardinals, Duvall hit .328/.411/.559 with 48 doubles, three triples, 23 home runs and 98 runs batted in.

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Upon being drafted by the Giants, Duvall headed to short season Salem-Keizer, where he hit .245/.318/.370 in 217 plate appearances. Since then, he’s moved up a level every year. Duvall has hit at least 17 home runs in every season since 2011, going deep 126 times overall in his six minor league seasons. He had a career-best 30 home runs and 100 runs batted in during the 2012 season, but his best all-around year came in Triple-A Fresno in 2014. In just 91 games in Fresno, Duvall hit .298/.360/.599 with 27 homers and 90 driven in (albeit in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League).

The Louisville native also saw time in the big leagues in 2014, hitting .192/.234/.342 with three home runs and five runs batted in over 77 plate appearances with the Giants. Despite staying with the team through September, he was not a part of the postseason roster for the eventual World Series champs.

Duvall headed back to Triple-A this season and continued to mash PCL pitching. In 437 plate appearances to this point, he’s hitting .281/.325/.547 with 25 doubles, two triples, 26 home runs and 80 runs batted in.

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Like many power hitters, however, Duvall has racked up his fair share of strikeouts, fanning in 19.5 percent of his minor league plate appearances. He also doesn’t walk a whole lot, with an 8.1 BB% in the minors, and a career-low 5.7 BB% this year.

The biggest knock against Duvall is his defense. While primarily playing third base, Duvall has committed 113 errors in his six minor league seasons. This year, he’s been charged with 16 errors—10 at third base and six at first base. Per Baseball America, Duvall lacks range at third base and has poor accuracy on his throws, which makes him “unplayable in the big leagues.” That’s likely why the Reds are sending him to Triple-A Louisville to get more work in left field, where he has just 10 games of professional experience.

While he could probably contribute as a member of the Reds bench right now, it can’t hurt to get him more work in left so that he can become less of a liability in the field and contribute as more than a pinch hitter in the majors.

When Duvall does come up (which I’m guessing will be no later than September 1), we won’t be looking at a future replacement for Joey Votto or Todd Frazier, but he could be a nice role player and provide some needed pop off the bench in the coming years, something the Reds haven’t had at all the last few seasons.

Next: Getting to know Keury Mella