With Spring Training just around the corner, many of the more notable names left on the market are starting to find homes. Boston has had a rather active offseason in recent weeks, as the Sox added Justin Turner, Corey Kluber, and Jorge Alfaro to its group for 2023. The Red Sox are now set to add another piece, as Boston has reportedly come to terms with power-hitting outfielder Adam Duvall on a one-year deal deal worth $7 million.
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A Look at Duvall
New Red Sox outfielder Adam Duvall is set to join the fifth team of his MLB career. Duvall started his career with the Giants, before being dealt to the Reds in 2015 for Mike Leake. Duvall flourished early on his career with Cincinnati, as the infielder/outfielder recorded back-to-back 30+ home run campaigns with the Reds.
Arguably Duvall’s best season came in 2021, when the 34-year-old cracked 38 home runs with the Marlins and Braves and led all NL hitters in total RBIs (113). In the postseason for the 2021 World Series champions, Duvall hit three more home runs. Two of those three came in the World Series against the Houston Astros. This past season, Duvall hit .213/.276/.401 over 86 games. Elbow surgery knocked the ex-Brave out for virtually all of the second half of the regular season and the entire postseason.
Duvall’s calling card is his plus power, something that should be welcome for a Red Sox team that lost J.D. Martinez and Xander Bogaerts in free agency, and may be without power hitting infielder Trevor Story for all of 2023. The new Red Sox outfielder fits what has become the mold of a prototypical all-or-nothing power hitter: sky high Hard Hit%, FB%, Pull%, and Under% rates, as well as below-average K% and Whiff% rates. Expect a lot of swings and misses from Duvall, but the outfielder can do plenty of damage when he puts the ball in play.
The right-handed hitting Duvall’s numbers could benefit from the left field porch in Fenway Park, but his power is not his only positive trait. Duvall is one of the league’s better defenders in left field. The Red Sox outfielder has a career +29 Outs Above Average, and his prowess in the field & 12 assists helped him clinch a NL Gold Glove award in 2021.
What it Means
Prior to this agreement, Boston’s outfield options include Japanese import Masataka Yoshida, Jarren Duran, Enrique Hernández, and Alex Verdugo. Utilityman Christian Arroyo also saw time last season in the outfield, but may see more time in the infield this season thanks to holes at second base and shortstop.
Should Duvall stay healthy, the new addition could be a boon if things can go right. Duvall did perform well in recent years prior to last season — Duvall’s 54 home runs were fourth-best in baseball from 2020-2021. Duvall should see a good amount of time in the field for Boston, and provide some veteran stability for a team that endured a number of hefty losses this offseason. The 34-year-old does have his weaknesses, but his power and solid defensive abilities in left should be welcome for a Red Sox squad that’s lacking some punch.