Top 20 Volcanoes players of all time: #10 Adam Duvall

Adam Duvall shouts in celebration after hitting the go-ahead two-run single in game three of the 2019 National League Division Series (Bill Greenblatt/United Press International).

At #10 on the Keizertimes list of the top 20 Volcanoes players of all time is Atlanta Braves outfielder/first baseman Adam Duvall. Duvall has played in the big leagues for seven seasons and made the National League (NL) All-Star team in 2016.

Duvall grew up in Kentucky and started his collegiate career at Western Kentucky University before eventually transferring to Chipola College and then the University of Louisville. He was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the 11th round of the 2010 Major League Baseball (MLB) Draft.

With the Volcanoes in 2010, Duvall batted .245 with four home runs and 18 RBIs in 54 games. He was promoted to the Augusta GreenJackets in 2011, which is where his talent began to show. Duvall led the team with 22 homers and 87 RBIs while batting .285 in 116 games.

Duvall’s power numbers increased the following season in high-A ball with the San Jose Giants as he led all Single-A players in 2012 with 30 homers.

After missing some time due to an injury to his left thumb in Double-A with the Richmond Flying Squirrels, Duvall still hit 17 homers and had 58 RBIs to go along with his .252 average in 2013.

Duvall spent the first three months of the 2014 season in Triple-A with the Fresno Grizzlies, but on June 25, 2014, he was called up to make his big league debut with the Giants.

In his first MLB game, Duvall homered off of Cincinnati Reds right-hander Mike Leake — the two players were involved in a trade the following season. Duvall was sent back down to the minor leagues on July 4, 2014, but rejoined the Giants later in the month.

Even though his MLB career began with a bang, Duvall struggled in his 28 games with the Giants, batting just .192 with three homers.

Duvall was sent back to Triple-A for the beginning of the 2015 season. On July 30, 2015, the Giants traded Duvall and Keury Mella to the Reds in exchange for Leake.

After the trade was completed, Duvall spent the next month in Triple-A with the Louisville Bats before the Reds called him up on Aug. 31, 2015.

In his first at-bat for Cincinnati, Duvall blasted a two-run, pinch-hit homer in the Reds 13-6 win over the Chicago Cubs. In 27 games with the Reds, Duvall hit .219 with five homers and nine RBIs.

Duvall’s first full season in the big leagues came in 2016. While he was a little-known player to begin the year, Duvall quickly became one of the best power hitters in all of baseball.

For the first three months of the 2016 season, Duvall led the NL in slugging percentage and was tied for first in the MLB in homers. In July 2016, he was the only Cincinnati player selected to the All-Star Game, becoming the first Louisville University alum to ever become an All-Star.

Duvall also participated in the 2016 Home Run Derby — he was defeated by 2015 champion Todd Frazier in the semifinals.

Duvall ended the season with 33 home runs, which was good enough for sixth in the National League. He also had 103 RBIs on the season. 

Duvall put up similar numbers in 2017, batting .247 with 31 dingers and 99 RBIs. The 2017 season was also a year of firsts for Duvall. He hit his first grand slam on April 18, 2017 off of Kevin Gausman in the Reds 9-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles. Then on July 14, 2017, Duvall had his first career walk-off hit in a 4-3 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Early in the 2018 season, Duvall hit his first walk-off home run against A.J. Ramos of the New York Mets, propelling the Reds to the 2-1 win.

However, Duvall struggled for the Reds in 2018, batting just .205 in 105 games. On July 30, 2018, Duvall was traded to the Braves for Lucas Sims, Matt Wisler, and Preston Tucker. But Duvall’s struggles continued in Atlanta for the remainder of the year as he finished the season batting .192 with 15 homers and 61 RBIs.

Duvall encountered more issues at the plate during spring training of 2019, which prompted the Braves to send him back down to Triple-A. However, Duvall was able to get back in a groove at a lower level.

Duvall had 32 homers and 93 RBIs with the Gwinnett Stripers in 101 games in Triple-A.

He ended up being called back up to the Braves on July 27 and finished the year on a high note, batting .267 with 10 homers and 41 RBIs. His best game came against the Washington Nationals on July 30, when Duvall hit two bombs and led Atlanta to a 11-8 victory.

In his first postseason, Duvall had a pair of clutch hits over the course of the 2019 National League Division Series (NLDS) against the St. Louis Cardinals.

In game two of the series, Duvall stepped up in a pinch-hit situation and blasted a two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh as the Braves went on to win the game 3-0.

Duvall came through again for Atlanta in game three. Tied 1-1 in the top of the ninth, Duvall delivered a game-winning two-run single to give the Braves their first lead of the ballgame. Although Atlanta had a 2-1 series lead, they couldn’t finish the job and dropped their next two contests.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced the MLB to reduce the 2020 season to just 60 games. But despite the short year, Duvall was able to re-establish himself as one of the top power hitters in the league, blasting 16 home runs, which was third in the NL.

Duvall’s resurgence helped his team win the NL East.

On Sept. 2, Duvall smashed three homers against the Boston Red Sox in a 7-5 victory. Just eight days later, Duvall crushed three home runs in a game once again, this time against the Miami Marlins. He became the first player in Braves history to have multiple three-homer games in a season. 

In the National League Wild Card Series, Duvall blasted an eighth inning homer in game two of the series, powering Atlanta to a sweep of the Reds, Duvall’s former team.

Duvall was only 1-for-12 in the NLDS, but the Braves still advanced to the National League Championship Series (NLCS) after sweeping the Marlins in the best-of-five series.

However, in game one of the NLCS, Duvall suffered an oblique injury and was sidelined for the remainder of the series — the eventual champion Los Angeles Dodgers won the series in seven games.

Duvall is one of only two players in the MLB to have type 1 diabetes. Duvall relies on an insulin pump and a glucose sensor to manage his symptoms.