Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

news

MLB News

Weight for it: Maintaining mass key for Duvall

Left fielder looking for ways to avoid second-half drop-offs
MLB.com @m_sheldon

CINCINNATI -- For his two full seasons with the Reds, left fielder Adam Duvall posted big numbers overall -- including back-to-back 30-home run years. But imagine what kind of statistics Duvall could produce if he was able to avoid big second-half drop-offs.

Duvall imagines that himself, and he is taking steps to have more consistent overall seasons.

CINCINNATI -- For his two full seasons with the Reds, left fielder Adam Duvall posted big numbers overall -- including back-to-back 30-home run years. But imagine what kind of statistics Duvall could produce if he was able to avoid big second-half drop-offs.

Duvall imagines that himself, and he is taking steps to have more consistent overall seasons.

"There are a couple of things I can do differently," Duvall said. "Each year in the first half, I've lost 10-12 pounds. I think sustaining that weight should help. I'm going to modify my lifting throughout the season. Also, nutrition -- I'm going to try and keep that weight on as much as I can, especially in July and August when it's hot. I sweat so much and it's tough for me not to lose weight during those months. It's about making the adjustment."

Duvall, 29, is listed by the club at 6-foot-1, 215 pounds. He also lives with and manages symptoms from Type 1 diabetes, but he doesn't believe that it played a significant role in his weight loss.

Video: CIN@PHI: Duvall hits two homer, collects five RBIs

In 157 games during 2017, Duvall batted .249/.301/.480 with 31 home runs and 99 RBIs. The first half saw him bat .278/.321/.557 with 20 homers and 61 RBIs. In the second half, he dipped to .212/.277/.385 with 11 homers and 38 RBIs.

According to Statcast™, Duvall's rate of quality contact dropped significantly, from 40.3 percent to 29.2 percent. That was second-lowest among Reds (min. 100 batted balls) in the second half behind only Billy Hamilton. Sure enough, Duvall's exit velocity on contact dropped in the dog days of summer. He averaged 89.16 mph from April-June last season but dropped to 85.1 mph in July-October.

The 2016 season was a breakout year for Duvall, as he logged career highs with 33 homers and 103 RBIs. His 23 first-half homers helped earn him a spot on the National League All-Star team and the Home Run Derby. But he hit only 10 homers in the second half, and his exit velocity numbers went down in June and July before ticking upward in August.

Video: NYM@CIN: Duvall cranks a three-run jack to left

"Any time you lose that much weight, your energy is going to be a little low and strength will be a little low," Duvall said. "I think it's important for me to be proactive."

Defensively last season, Duvall led all Major League outfielders with 15 assists, as he's proven to be a dependable player on both sides of the ball.

Video: STL@CIN: Duvall throws out DeJong, Piscotty from left

Still, Duvall will find his playing time affected in 2018 as Reds manager Bryan Price is currently planning on using a four-man platoon to share the three outfield spots. The club is ready to give prospect Jesse Winker (ranked No. 82 overall and at No. 5 in the organization by MLB Pipeline) significant playing time.

Barring injury or trade, Cincinnati will have Duvall, Winker, Scott Schebler and Hamilton all splitting time. Whoever isn't playing becomes a key option off of the bench for Price, who believes that getting slightly fewer plate appearances might preserve the strength in all four players to help sustain them for an entire season.

How does Duvall see the situation shaking out?

"It's out of your control. You have to go out and play your game," Duvall said. "Everything will take care of itself."

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Cincinnati Reds, Adam Duvall