Congratulations to Adam Duvall
Tonight Adam Duvall became the eleventh San Francisco Giant to hit a home run in his first major league game. It was an impressive one, if not for the distance the ball traveled, then for the pitch he hit.
After making out in his first two at-bats, Duvall was down 0-2 to Mike Leake. The next pitch was a low and away slider. You could blame Leake for throwing a strike with an 0-2 count, but the pitch wasn’t a mistake. It was on the outside part of the plate at the knees, and Duvall had to reach down to get it and somehow drive it out.
The home run was a testament to Duvall’s power stroke, and it helps to explain why he’s presently leading the AAA Pacific Coast League in home runs with 23. Duvall also made the last out of the game, a line shot to the 3Bman on a breaking pitch by Aroldis Chapman. An out, but he hit it right on the screws, only right at a defender.
Duvall is a former 11th round draft pick, and he turns 26 in early September. As such, the Giants haven’t done him any favors. However, he’s hit with so much power in the minors since 2011, the Giants finally had to give him a major league shot once enough guys on the major league roster got hurt.
I don’t know what kind of major league career Duvall will have given his age and the fact that the only position he can really play at the major league level (except in a pinch) is 1B. That said, he was playing so well at AAA Fresno that it has long since been time for the Giants to finally call him up and give him a shot.
If Duvall could learn to play left field on the fly, he could potentially help the Giants this year even once Brandon Belt returns from his broken thumb. Certainly not to my surprise, Tyler Colvin has stopped hitting after a hot start in early-mid-May, and Duvall could fill the role of fifth outfielder if Colvin doesn’t get his hitting stroke back. Of course, Colvin is left-handed hitter, while Duvall is a righty, but it would be nice to keep Duvall’s power bat around, even if he’s mostly used off the bench.