Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Dr B's 2014 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #28 Adam Duvall

Adam Duvall, 3B.  B-R, T-R.  6'1", 205 lbs.  DOB:  9/4/1988.

AA:  .252/.320/.465, 17 HR, 35 BB, 72 K's in 385 AB.
VWL:  .297/.327/.490, 7 HR, 6 BB, 35 K'S in 145 AB.

2014 was Adam Duvall's 4'th professional season as he has worked his way up the ladder 1 season at a time starting with Salem-Keizer in 2010, his draft year.  He was drafted in the 11'th round out of Louisville.  The hallmark of Duvall's professional career is power.  He has hit for impressive power at every level so far, 22, 30 and 17 over his last 3 seasons.  The power has been accompanied by modest BA's, fair walks rates and fair K rates.  Some scouts have worried that his swing is long and may not play at higher levels, but his AA performance at the level that is usually the most challenging for Giants prospects more than held his own.

He has struggled to make his throws from 3B due to a tendency to get under the throw and sail it over the 1B head.  Most of his 26 errors in 2011 and 27 in 2012 were due to overthrows.  The Giants worked on changing his arm slot and some throwing drills and his errors dropped to 18 in 2014.  Making further progress on his throws and overall defense will be a key to his future chances of a MLB career.

Duvall developed Type I diabetes during spring training of 2012 after what sounds like a viral illness, a common scenario of how the disease develops.  It took him awhile to learn to adjust his insulin for the activity of playing baseball, but he seems to be comfortable with it now.  To my knowledge, he has not missed any games or had to leave any games due to the condition.

Duvall's future with the Giants probably hinges on Pablo Sandoval's season.  If Pablo has a great season in 2014 and signs a longterm deal with the Giants, then Duvall's path to the majors is blocked and he will probably end up with another organization.  On the other hand, he is probably slightly ahead of former Louisville teammate, Chris Dominguez, in the race to be Sandoval's replacement from within the organization should Pablo leave via trade or FA.


  1. Doc, you're probably right about Duvall this far down considering he's really only got one tool in the box. The throws don't help his cause. Being slightly ahead of Dominguez isn't saying a whole lot either.

    Duvall is probably moot because "skinny" Pablo is probably going to rake and play 150+ games en route to the big extension.

    But what's your take on Buster Posey? If he's not catching, is first base his only option, or do you think he can make it work at third base.


    1. Bochy himself brought up that Buster would be able to handle playing 3B in an interview, I think it was last year.

      Not totally moot if he breaks out, for the Giants could move Belt to LF and put Duvall or Sandoval at 1B, while the other handles 3B. But while he did nicely in AA, not really good enough to project to be a starter in the majors, he will need to continue to develop to do that and have a breakout year in AAA at some point.

    2. I took that a more of a situation of Bochy thinking out loud about Posey POSSIBLY playing 3B rather than any kind of definitive statement on the subject. At this point it's a moot issue because Sabean HAS definitively said that Posey is the catcher for the foreseeable future.

  2. I am impressed that he at least listens and is coachable, judging by the progress in cutting down those throwing errors.

    Maybe a little more progress is still possible.

    That's sharply different from those who don't listen. Wonder who they are in our current system, now that Linden has retired?

  3. I think this was asked before, but is the VWL equivalent to our AAA leagues?

    I know it's small sample size, but if Blanco could leverage a good VWL season, it should be encouraging to Duvall as well.

    1. VWL seems to be much more of a hitter's league than the DWL. Pablo, Jesus Guzman, Blanco. Lots of guys have put up pretty big numbers down there. Doing well is much better than doing poorly, though. I think Duvall is helping himself down there.