2020 Topps #482 Adam Duvall Atlanta Braves MLB Baseball Trading  Card: Collectibles & Fine Art

When the Braves acquired Adam Duvall in 2018, I wrote that basically his job was to hit a home run per week. In 2020, Duvall hit 6 weeks worth in 2 games.

Adam had the kind of season the Braves must have been hoping for when they acquired him, with 16 homers in 190 at bats (and for the record, 9 weeks.) This was good for 3rd in the NL, along with a logjam of other folks. He obviously had a hot streak in a shortened season, so for a little more perspective let’s go back to 2019. From that view he’s hit 26 homers in his last 310 at bats.

Duvall has a reputation as a pretty good left fielder, and he finished 1st or 2nd in range factor per 9 innings from 2016- 2018. He’s dropped off in his 30’s; basically league average in this category in the 75 games he’s played in left field over the last 2 seasons.

Duvall makes a lot of outs, and his 2020 season was no exception. His .237 batting average and .301 on base percentage were right around his career numbers (.233 and .293 respectively.) There has been discussion that the best use for Duvall is in a platoon, but while he is better against left handed pitchers, he is not exactly a lefty masher. His career averages against lefties are .243 and .318.

You’ve got to eat a lot of Cracker Jacks to get to the prize with Adam, and he was pretty terrible in the limited time he platooned in 2018. My opinion is that Duvall requires a lot of at bats to get the payoff, and is therefore less suited to platooning.

Duvall is someone who did not really take off until he was age 27. My main concern when he was acquired was will he still be useful on the other side of his prime years? So far Adam is still being Adam. His age 31 season ended with an oblique strain in game 1 of the NLCS. It’s not hard to picture a healthy Duvall turning a game around over the course of those 7 days. Let’s hope he gets a chance to turn around a playoff game in his age 32 season.