In relation to the Top 75 Prospects list update, a reader sent me an email asking if San Francisco Giants infielder Adam Duvall was considered. He's been extremely hot of late, hitting .415 with three homers and six doubles in his last 10 games for Triple-A Fresno.
No, I didn't consider him. But he is an intriguing player, as a guy who has consistently defied expectations.
Scouts have been waiting for Adam Duvall to fail, but it hasn’t happened yet. His ’13 numbers at Double-A Richmond are actually better than his ’12 numbers for High-A San Jose once context is considered: his wRC+ went from 105 to 114, as he continued to show good power despite moving into a more difficult park/league context. The former 11th round pick from the University of Louisville doesn’t have great tools, but he can thump the ball and is particularly effective against left-handed pitching. His athletic limitations show up on defense where he’s merely mediocre at third base. He’s performed decently in limited exposure at first base, so perhaps he can be a corner utility type with a power bat. I’m not sure how he fits into the long- term plan, but I rather like him and think he could be a useful asset as a role player. Grade C+.
That's all still true, if anything even more so. Duvall has hit .310/.369/.643 with 26 homers in just 75 games for Triple-A Fresno. He went 3-for-18 with a home run in a five-game major league trial, and I have to assume that more big league at-bats are on the agenda given what he's done in Triple-A this year. His current wRC+ of 158 is the best of his career. There were complaints about his swing mechanics being too stiff earlier in his career, but those worries seem less relevant every year as he continues to mash.
Defense is the bigger issue. He's shown little improvement in his reliability at third base, where his error rate remains too high, and he doesn't have the range or physical projectability to get much slack for that. He's played quite a bit of first base this year and played there in the majors. He hasn't played second base since the Northwest League.
Overall, Duvall does not have much left to prove in the minors. I still see him as a productive role player due to his power, but I'm still not sure how they find him a roster spot.