Cincinnati Reds left fielder Adam Duvall needs to work on seeing pitches

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

The Cincinnati Reds left fielder is held back by his aggressive approach to hitting.

Since breaking into the starting lineup for the Cincinnati Reds, Adam Duvall has been a slugging outfielder and a plus defender making him a target for a contract extension.  He is an average base runner, mostly because he gets slow breaks off of the bases.  The larger issue is his tendency to be an aggressive batter and that may be why the Reds are open to offers on him.

Duvall had 647 plate appearances and saw 2,484 pitches in 2017.  That is an average of 3.84 pitches per plate appearance for the season.  In 2016 Duvall had 208 plate appearances and saw 2,225 pitches for an average of 3.66.

Duvall did improve in 2017.  By comparison Joey Votto saw 3.87 pitches per plate appearance, which is considered neutral.  That is how close Duvall is to getting over the hump.

It might not seem like a big deal, but this could be the cause for Duvall’s issue with runners on base.  Last season, he led MLB in unproductive outs.  No one made more outs with fewer than two outs and a runner on base without moving the runner forward last year than Duvall.

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Because Duvall was the clean-up hitter, it was not a small number.  He made 114 unproductive outs.  That’s about ⅕ of Duvall’s plate appearances last season.

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The Cincinnati Reds need to bat Adam Duvall somewhere in the line-up where there are less unproductive outs.

Part of the issue is that Duvall made 67 long fly ball outs in 2017.  One out of every nine plate appearances, Duvall hit a fly ball of 320 feet or longer.  Combine this with his unproductive outs and his 31 homers may not be worth it.

Votto actually had more long outs.  He had 90 of them with the vast majority coming between 320-330.  

He also led MLB with outs between 350-370, likely line drives caught by center fielders.

All of this adds up to Duvall having a low OBP.  It is the one stat line that he needs to focus on in 2018.  He has already established that he can hit the ball far.

Next: When will reinforcements arrive?

Once Duvall looks at more pitches, his patience will pay off with more hits and walks.  He will move more batters over that are on base in front of him, avoiding those unproductive outs.  More importantly, he will get on base more himself and therefore be more valuable to the Reds as an offensive player.