Maybe I shouldn’t be writing this because I don’t want to jinx it, but Adam Duvall is on the fast track to earning his way back to the major leagues. If you don’t typically pay attention to what is going on in the minor leagues, Duvall has hit eight (YES, EIGHT) home runs in his past nine games, including a current streak of five straight games with a home run.
This is a player that the Braves gave up a couple of mid-level prospects for. The trade looked to be a slam dunk for Atlanta because Matt Wisler and Lucas Sims weren’t exactly instilling confidence in the organization. Somehow, Duvall managed to turn it into a negative by hitting .132 in 33 appearances for the Braves. He followed that up with an awful spring and rightfully found himself starting 2019 in AAA Gwinnett.
However, Duvall has been more than just a power-hitting machine with the Stripers. For the entire season, he’s shown an ability to get on base with consistency, hitting .315 with an OBP of .398. It’s unquestionably an extended hot streak, but the power is why the Braves acquired Duvall, and they know that is sustainable to some degree.
The Braves bench has been outstanding to this point. Johan Camargo has been a weapon in his new super-utility role. Charlie Culberson rarely gets at-bats, but when he does, it’s usually an extra-base hit. Matt Joyce has even provided nice pop from the left side. That does not mean there isn’t room for Duvall in the grand scheme of things.
Possible scenarios for Adam Duvall
1. The Braves bring up Duvall and place Ender Inciarte on the 10-Day IL
In case you missed it yesterday, Inciarte came up limping after a single in his first at-bat. The report is that the injury is a minor hamstring tweak, and he was taken out as a precaution. However, hamstrings are nothing to mess with, and the Braves might want to see what they have in Duvall. There’s no reason to rush Ender back if there is any sort of discomfort lingering.
2. The Braves send Matt Joyce to Gwinnett and call up Duvall
This is the most likely option if there is no injury. Joyce has been a solid pick up by the team, but it’s hard to ignore the upside with Duvall when he is playing this way. Joyce has said in the past he doesn’t mind going to Gwinnett, which will allow the Braves to play the hot hand.
3. Braves trade Adam Duvall
I don’t imagine this is likely, but the Braves could be satisfied with the way their bench has performed. Duvall’s numbers in the minors may peak a team with a disappointing bench’s interest. The Braves could cut their losses and give Duvall a fresh start elsewhere.