Duvall's tweaks paying big dividends

Left fielder worked in offseason on going up the middle and opposite way

May 15th, 2016

PHILADELPHIA -- It feels like lately when Adam Duvall notches a hit for the Reds, he winds up either standing on second base with a double, or rounding the bases with a home run. Over the past 11 games after Sunday's 9-4 win over the Phillies, Duvall is hitting .405 (15-for-37) with four home runs and five doubles.

"I normally hit a lot of home runs and doubles. It's nothing that's changed as of late," Duvall said in matter-of-fact fashion.

Duvall, who earned the regular left fielder's job with a good start to the season and made his 27th start there on Sunday, made a couple of changes to his approach during the offseason.

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"Just little adjustments, but other than that, nothing too drastic," he said. "I changed a couple of things that may help me see the ball longer and stay on more pitches. That's the goal."

Duvall had two RBI doubles on Saturday, and both balls were pulled to left. The right-handed hitter has only one flyout on a pulled ball past the infield and four of his six homers have been pulled. Nine of his team-leading 12 doubles were also pulled, and Duvall leads the team with 18 extra-base hits.

However, Duvall has been trying to go up the middle and the opposite way more.

"I'm more trying to use the middle of the field, but I'm getting a lot of offspeed [pitches] right now. Sometimes I catch them out front," Duvall said. "I'm using the middle of the field on the fastball. If he throws me something slower, hopefully I'm in the zone long enough where I can catch the offspeed a little bit out in front."

It's about keeping the bat head in the zone of the plate longer for Duvall.

"I work a lot on the tee to get the bat in the zone back here [next to me]," he said. "Then I move the tee out in front and try to keep [the swing] as long as I can. You try to create as much margin for error as you can. You're not always going to be on time."

Lately, however, Duvall's timing seems impeccable.