Look who’s hitting home runs again.
Outfielder Adam Duvall, who had back-to-back 30-homer seasons with the Cincinnati Reds in 2016 and 2017 before failing in a bench role with the Braves last summer, seems to have rediscovered his power-hitting swing.
Duvall, optioned by the Braves to Triple-A Gwinnett near the end of spring training, has hit home runs in four consecutive games with the Stripers (through Sunday). He has five home runs during that stretch. In 23 Gwinnett games this season, he is hitting .306 with a 1.035 OPS and seven home runs (one off the International League lead).
He could yet prove to be a big-league asset for the Braves, whether in the event of an injury to an outfielder or as a piece in a trade or who-knows-what-else.
“I admire the heck out of him,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “This kid was an all-star and potential gold glover and got sent back (to the minors). But he’s working hard to get back, he’s playing every day, and the reports are good.
“Whether we can use him or somebody else (can) or whoever, you pull for a guy like that to get it going because you’ve seen how dangerous he can be.”
Duvall had 33 home runs and 103 RBI for the Reds in 2016, when he made the National League All-Star team, and followed up with 31 home runs and 99 RBI in 2017. He had another 15 home runs and 61 RBI for the Reds in 105 games last season before the Braves acquired him in a July 30 trade for pitchers Lucas Sims and Matt Wisler and outfielder Preston Tucker.
The Braves expected Duvall to provide power off the bench down the stretch last season, but instead he went 7-for-53 (.132) with just one extra-base hit (a double).
Still, Duvall’s past performance led the Braves to sign him to a $2.875 million contract for this season and to keep him in the organization even when he didn’t make the big-league team out of spring training.
TODAY’S LEADOFF LINKS
> The Braves lost two of three games to the Colorado Rockies over the weekend at SunTrust Park. They lost Friday night despite another solid start by Max Fried, lost Saturday night on a ninth-inning bullpen meltdown and avoided a series sweep by winning Sunday afternoon on Josh Donaldson’s three-run eighth-inning home run.
> D. Orlando Ledbetter offers a bio on each member of the Falcons’ 2019 draft class here.
> Falcons fans have defaulted on payments for thousands of personal seat licenses since Mercedes-Benz Stadium opened in 2017, essentially undoing about $30 million in sales, records show. See our full report here.
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