At 27-years old and with only 371 at-bats in three seasons since 2014, Adam Duvall has made a remarkable impact with the Cincinnati Reds since he was acquired from the San Francisco Giants, along with 22-year old RHP Keury Mella, for Mike Leake. When he first arrived the big leagues in 2015, he bashed five home runs and produced a slugging percentage of .484 in just sixty-four at-bats. This season, since winning the starting spot in left field from fellow prospect and Todd Frazier trade acquisition Scott Schebler, Duvall has made his presence known and has blown all of MLB away.
Voting for the 2016 MLB All-Star Game closes on June 30. Currently, in terms of votes, Duvall isn’t even within the top-fiteen among National League outfielders. He hasn’t even received the 378,371 votes that Giants outfielder Angel Pagan has. Yet, Adam Duvall has earned, and fully deserves, a trip to the 2016 MLB All-Star festivities in San Diego.
Adam Duvall: His Case for the 2016 All-Star Game
Duvall has already smacked twenty home runs this year, good for second in the NL and first among NL outfielders. It also places him in fourth in MLB, just one home run shy of league leaders Nolan Arenado, Mark Trumbo, and Frazier. Duvall’s .589 slugging percentage ranks higher than that of everyone else in the National League except for hard-hitting teammate Jay Bruce, who is sitting pretty at .594. He is tied with Matt Carpenter for the second-highest NL total extra-base hits with thirty-seven; the only outfielder that sits above Duvall on that list is, once again, Bruce. Finally, Duvall’s isolated power blows everyone out of the water. His figure of .331 is first among all outfielders in all of baseball, and ranks second in the MLB overall to that of David Ortiz, who is defying both logic and age with his .356 mark.
Surprisingly, Duvall measures nearly as elite on defense as he does on offense in his amazing breakout season. His o.7 defensive WAR is fifteenth-best in the National League, and is fourth-best among outfielders. The three fielders who measure as better fielders metrically than Duvall are Randal Grichuk, Jason Heyward, and Yasiel Puig, all of whom who are struggling terribly with OPS of .668, .670, and .643. The only outfielders that measure as better defensive players than Adam Duvall haven’t hit for a shred of the power and value that he has in his first 234 at-bats.
While Duvall’s twenty home runs, elite slugging percentage, and NL-best isolated power should punch him a ticket to the Home Run Derby, that isn’t enough for what he has shown this year. It is obvious that no one from the league-worst Reds bullpen will be an All-Star selection. While several Reds prospects currently tackling the learning curve in the starting rotation have made very promising improvements to their game, none of them have made a push into the NL’s top tier of starters yet. The Reds must have at least one representative in San Diego. Duvall has proven he deserves the honor by being among the best in MLB in every power-hitting category, while also proving his metal on defense with the fourth-best defensive WAR for NL outfielders. No one deserves to play in the Mid-Summer Classic more than Adam Duvall does.