What’s in a name? The Reds had some pretty good success the last time they had a guy named Adam as their regular left fielder. Adam Dunn had a string of five straight seasons of 40 or more home runs a decade ago. Since then the position has been something of a black hole.
Enter Adam Duvall. The Kentucky native seems to be the odds-on favorite to start the season in left. “Knowing that there’s an opening there and me getting some work in the outfield last season after the trade, it is something I see available,” Duvall said.
Duvall came over from the Giants in the deal that sent Mike Leake to San Francisco last season. A first baseman by trade, he would likely still back up Joey Votto, but the Reds are hoping he can produce some power numbers like he did early in his pro career. He hit 130 home runs in six minor-league seasons, and five more in 27 games after joining the Reds.
“It seems like when I got to pro ball my swing changed a bit,” Duvall said during a break this week. “I learned to use my legs and my core strength to drive the ball a lot more. It’s something that I’ve gotten better at over time.”
Duvall also has a penchant for swinging and missing. Last season he struck out 26 times in those 27 games with the Reds, but he thinks some work in the off-season will fix that.
“I believe in the division we play in that I have the ability to drive the ball out to right field or left field, so I’m really working on keeping my bat in the zone and cut down on strikeouts by putting the ball in play more.”
Duvall already has a World Series ring. He was with the Giants for 28 games when they won it all in 2014. He says he welcomes the pressure of proving he can play every day in the big leagues.
” A little pressure is good. It brings your game up a little bit, but at the end of the day you can’t think about too much, you just have to go out there and play.”
Duvall certainly doesn’t expect to equal Dunn’s home run numbers in his first full season, but he and the Reds would certainly be happy with half of 40.