If you had told me two years ago that the Braves would still be benefiting from the trade for Adam Duvall, I would have called the mental hospital for you.
Alex Anthopoulos dealt for the 2016 All-Star before the 2018 trade deadline, hoping that he could add some more pop to a Braves offense that required more power to make a deep playoff run. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. Duvall managed to hit a pathetic .132 with an even more miserable .344 OPS in 33 games with the team, failing to record a single home run. However, Anthopoulos chose to hang onto him in arbitration, and he’s become impossible not to root for over the last two seasons.
Duvall began last year in AAA, and the Braves waited a while before finally giving him an opportunity, but once he received the call, he made the most of it, hitting .267 with a .882 OPS and 10 homers in just 41 regular-season games before coming through with the two most clutch hits of the postseason. That kind of perseverance in 2019 was admirable, but it pales in comparison to what he’s fought through in 2020.
As a type-1 diabetic, Adam Duvall is one of the few players considered “at-risk” when it comes to COVID-19. He could have sat out while still receiving his salary, and nobody would have blinked an eye. Instead, he decided to play, and those concerns have not stopped him from producing the best season of his career. Through August, Duvall was putting together a decent campaign, posting a .732 OPS with five homers, but since the calendar turned, he’s been a man possessed.
Last night, Duvall blasted his tenth home run of the month… and we’re only halfway through September.
The bomb over the left-field wall was his 15th of the season, tying him for the league-lead in homers.
There are a few amazing things about this feat. First, the guy is on pace for 20 homers this month… that’s ridiculous. Secondly, Duvall is the seventh batter in the lineup on most nights — a testament to just how deep the Braves lineup is. However, above all, the craziest thing about this is that he is still in third on the team as far as OPS goes in September despite having ten homers this month.
With Duvall hitting like this, the Braves very well may have the best offense in the National League, and that includes a loaded Los Angeles Dodgers team. Hopefully, the powerful righty can save some of those blasts for October.