Reds’ slugging OF Duvall trying to build on breakout ’16 season in ’17
Saturday, February 25, 2017 10:00 AM
GOODYEAR, Ariz. — Adam Duvall is hard at work in the Arizona desert, looking for an encore to his breakout season for the Cincinnati Reds.
For the slugging outfielder, the biggest key is the smallest details.
"You don't try to repeat anything," Duvall said. "You've got to get your work in. You've got to stay focused and try to do the little things right. To go back, that's what gave you success in the first place. You've just got to continue to try to do those things."
Duvall was a pleasant surprise for lowly Cincinnati last year, leading the last-place Reds with 33 homers and 103 RBIs. He made the All-Star team for the first time and was a finalist for the Gold Glove award in left field, won by Pittsburgh's Starling Marte.
It was Duvall's first full year in the outfield, so the defensive recognition was particularly satisfying.
"I put a lot of emphasis on my defense, so it was gratifying for that to kind of pay off," he said before the Reds' first exhibition game on Friday.
An 11th-round pick in the 2010 amateur draft, Duvall broke into the majors with San Francisco in 2014. He homered off Mike Leake for his first hit in his first major league game against Cincinnati.
After batting .192 in 28 games with the Giants, Duvall began the next season back in the minors. He hit 26 homers for Triple-A Sacramento before he was shipped to the Reds along with minor league right-hander Keury Mella for Leake.
Duvall, a Louisville native who played his college ball at Western Kentucky, Chipola College and the University of Louisville, made a quick impression after he was promoted to Cincinnati, belting a two-run homer in his first plate appearance with the Reds. He went deep for each of his first three hits with his new club.
"Adam, he has natural ability and he has a very steady routine that he sticks to and can carry over into the game," Reds slugger Joey Votto said, "and I think that that's kind of an underrated attribute for players, the ability to prepare and see that carry over onto the field."
It remains to be seen if Duvall's success in 2016 carries over to this year. He had eight homers and 14 RBIs in 55 games before last season.
"He gets it. I mean he's a really bright kid and a tremendous worker," manager Bryan Price said. "I just don't think it's an easy game. It's hard to be really good on a consistent basis. However, my expectation is that he's going to be really good again this year."
A little more plate discipline could help Duvall continue his level of production. He struck out 164 times last year, compared to 41 walks.
But he grows more comfortable with his surroundings every day, and that also might help this season.
"With last year being a full year up here and getting to know a bunch of the guys, the comfortability level is definitely higher than when I first walked into the locker room," he said. "It's nice to know the guys and know all the faces and the coaching staff and the front office. It's starting to feel like home."
Herrera hampered by shoulder inflammation
GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) — Dilson Herrera has inflammation in his right shoulder and will not throw for a couple days, taking the Colombian infielder out of the World Baseball Classic and hurting his chances for making the Cincinnati Reds.
Herrera, who turns 23 next Friday, also experienced shoulder soreness for parts of last season, including during spring training. He said it started bothering him again about a week ago.
The Reds acquired Herrera when they traded Jay Bruce to the New York Mets last summer.
“I’m OK. Sometimes we’ve got to be strong, get the mind right so we’re ready for everything, so I feel normal,” Herrera said.
Reds manager Bryan Price said Herrera probably won’t throw again until Monday or Tuesday.
“He’ll DH tomorrow. He’s fine to hit,” Price said Friday. “But he’s not OK to defend and throw. Until we have that, his shoulder feeling good coming off the end of last year where he had the soreness, it doesn’t make any sense at all to be playing defense in the WBC or for us.”
Asked whether Herrera is going to get any tests on his shoulder, Price said: “He’s been examined extensively and I don’t think there’s any structural damage. There’s just inflammation.”
Herrera spent last season in the minors, hitting .274 with 15 homers and 64 RBIs in 110 games with Triple-A Las Vegas and Louisville. He is a .215 hitter in 49 career major league games, all with the Mets.
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