5 things to know about new Red Sox outfielder Adam Duvall
The 34-year-old spent the last four years with Atlanta and Miami.
The Red Sox have reportedly agreed to a one-year, $7 million contract with free agent outfielder Adam Duvall. The 34-year-old can also make an additional $3 million in bonuses in the deal, according to the Boston Globe’s Alex Speier.
Duvall joins Boston after spending the past four seasons with Atlanta and Miami.
Here are five things to know about the veteran outfielder.
Tons of pop
Last year the Red Sox finished 20th in the league in home runs after coming in 10th in 2021.
Over the course of his career, Duvall has hit over 30 home runs in a season three times and has finished in the top 10 in the National League in homers four times. He also averages one home run for every 18.7 plate appearances for his career, which would be a top-20 mark in baseball for any given season.
Spending the last few seasons in the Braves’ Truist Park may have dampened Duvall’s production however, as the park is in the bottom half of the league in home runs produced.
Duvall flexed his power when he participated in the 2016 Home Run Derby, losing in the semifinal to Cincinnati teammate Todd Frazier.
Duvall doesn’t just hit homers, either; he’s hit over 30 doubles in a season twice and also has 13 career triples. His career .465 slugging percentage places him 45th among all active players.
Fenway Park could also give Duvall’s power numbers a boost. Sure, the Green Monster does negate some of the big fly potential for the righthanded hitter, but he could also turn into a doubles machine at home.
He’s going to strike out, a lot.
Duvall is one of the classic victims of swinging for the fences and missing the pitch half the time. For his career, Duvall has a strikeout rate of 28.5 percent, well above the league average of 21.9 percent.
While many players often defend their K rates with above average walk rates, the same can’t be said for Duvall, whose 6.7 percent walk rate is below the MLB average of 8.3 percent.
While Duvall isn’t going to strike out as much as guys like Joey Gallo, he isn’t going to walk as much as them either, which has led him to having a just alright career OPS of .755. That figure puts him at 75th among all active players.
He’s been an iron man.
Up to this point, Duvall has played in nine major league seasons. During his first two years with San Francisco and Cincinnati he split time between the majors and Triple A, playing in 55 MLB games.
In 2016, his first full season with the Reds, he broke out, earning the only All-Star selection of his career while playing in 150 games.
Since then, Duvall has eclipsed over 135 games played every year except for the shortened 2020 season and last year when he suffered a wrist injury.
The injury last year however was a freak incident in which he damaged his wrist colliding with a wall as he was chasing down a fly ball.
Duvall suffered no notable setbacks following his surgery in July, and Boston fans should expect a near full season from him next year.
He’s still a plus defender.
Although he is reaching the latter stages of his career, and his legs may not be what they used to be, Duvall can still make a difference as an everyday outfielder.
In 2021 Duvall grabbed a Gold Glove for his play in right field, but he isn’t resigned to just one outfield spot. Over the past two years, Duvall has played 74 games in center, 86 in left, and 88 in right.
His 34 career total zone runs, which determines a defender’s worth in runs, above or below the league average, ranks 16th among all active outfielders.
Duvall’s ability in center isn’t just going to help out the team’s outfield defense, it’ll also help bolster the team in the middle infield as they look to replace shortstop Xander Bogaerts.
A lineup with Duvall in center field allows Kiké Hernández to get more action in the infield. Over the course of his career he’s played 358 combined games at second and shortstop but has spent more of his time in the outfield since joining the Red Sox in 2021.
With an injured Trevor Story and now the addition of Duvall, Hernandez looks to be the top, in-house option at short.
He’s seen it all.
Whichever direction the Red Sox are looking to go this season, Duvall can help out.
Over the course of his career, the veteran has seen every kind of situation there is. He has played on two teams that have won the World Series in the 2014 Giants and the 2021 Braves while also playing on a Reds team that was under 70 wins for four straight seasons.
He’s seen the worst rebuilds, dynastic runs, and some tweener squads like the Marlins in 2021.
Overall he’s played in 27 career playoff games, invaluable experience for a relatively young Boston team that only has a couple of players left from its last championship. If the Red Sox feel they’re ready to get back in the postseason conversation, Duvall can talk to his younger teammates about the pressures of the spotlight and deliver some action of his own.
If their direction is more focused on building towards the future and reloading their farm system, then Duvall can help make sure that heads don’t drop during the process and share his stories from his time in Cincinnati, and detail the success the clubs like the Braves have had after extended rebuilds.
Whatever the intention of Boston’s upper management, Duvall is set to provide much needed experience to a squad that just lost its longest tenured player and eldest hitter to free agency.
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