This week’s respondents are Nick Doran, Nick Carrington, the inimitable Mary Beth Ellis, and Chad Dotson.
Our Daily Reds Obsession: What’s the best-case scenario for Adam Duvall? Worst-case?
Nick D: Best case scenario is he puts two first halves together to make a whole season. Worst case is he puts two second-halves together. He has a .262/.302/.550 slash line with 44 home runs and 123 RBI in 646 first-half at-bats in his career, compared to a .219/.290/.410 triple slash with 28 homers and 93 RBI in 630 second-half at-bats. Reds manager Bryan Price needs to keep Duvall fresh by resting him regularly against tough right-handed pitchers so he doesn’t wear down before the season is half over. Duvall and Scott Schebler have amazingly similar career numbers. Both are solid, major-league-average hitters from opposite sides of the plate. But Duvall is two years older and less likely to see an uptick in production from a natural development curve. So ideally, Duvall will get off to a hot start and then be moved for a less redundant asset in a position of need such as centerfield or shortstop.
Nick C: Best-case scenario – I don’t see a lot of growth left for Duvall. Maybe he can become a little more consistent, but I think the best case is that he continues to provide impressive power, play solid defense, and maybe sneak that OBP over .310. I’d be happy with that, though he will have competition at the corners with Schebler and Jesse Winker.
Worst-case scenario – Duvall’s 2017 second half foreshadows his future, and the holes in his swing keep him from driving the ball into the stands. As I alluded to with Schebler, it’s hard to sustain success when you strikeout over a fourth of your plate appearances. Duvall’s didn’t hit the ball as hard in 2017 as he did in 2016, and if that’s because his deficiencies have caught up to him, then Winker and Schebler will have the inside edge on starting spots.
Mary Beth: The worst case scenario for Adam Duvall is to be drafted to my friend Scott’s fantasy team. Scott is the worst fantasy CEO in the history of round things that bounce. If an athlete is going to tank, become injured, slump, or throw the night Scooter Gennett decides to acquire more home runs in a single game than I have in my entire 12 years of gym class, he is going to appear on the roster of Scott.
His best-case scenario? Hop on the back of Redzilla at some point. I bet he has the power to make that happen, and I bet he can aim the tee shirt cannon directly at the beer trays of passing vendors.
Chad: I like Adam Duvall. I really do. He’s an All-Star, he’s had back to back 30-homer seasons, he’s been a Gold Glove finalist during each of the seasons he’s been a starter with the ol’ Redlegs. He’s a nice little player, and he’s always smiling, and his teammates like him, and I’m glad that I’ve had the chance to root for him.
But he’ll turn 30 next year and I’m not very optimistic about his future. In fact, I will almost guarantee that Scott Schebler will be more productive than Duvall next season, assuming equal playing time. So…
Best-case: Duvall gets traded and we wish him the best of luck, fondly recalling the highlights of his too-brief Reds career.
Worse-case: His OBP dips below .300 for good, and his defense begins to slip. He becomes the player we saw in the second half of last season (.212/.277/.385, 11 home runs in 72 games).
Blame Chad for creating this mess.
Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, “The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds” is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad’s musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine.
You can email Chad at email@example.com.