In February, right before spring training, the Marlins addressed one of their biggest needs by signing outfielder Adam Duvall to a one-year, $5MM deal with a mutual option for the 2022 season. Overall, the addition has paid off so far for the Fish.
Traditional analysts would find that difficult to agree with considering that Duvall got to Sunday’s game with a poor .205/.248/.425 slash line and a .673 OPS. Also, the veteran slugger has struck out 70 times across 200 at-bats so many of his outs have been completely unproductive. If you’re judging Duvall on those numbers, the debate is gonna end pretty quickly.
But there are tangible stats that measure how valuable he’s been in his first 56 games as a Marlin.
Duvall has been a reliable power source. He’s got six doubles, one triple, and 12 home runs. Not only is he smashing from time to time, he’s also recorded 41 runs batted in, tied with Brandon Crawford for the fourth-most in the National League and behind only teammate Jesús Aguilar (49), Nolan Arenado (44) and Eduardo Escobar (43).
His contact rate is low at 70.1%, but when he does put his bat on the ball, good things happen. Duvall’s exit velocity average is at 91.3 miles per hour, which is the highest for any qualified Marlins hitter. The anti-Corey Dickerson, Duvall is hitting for a .340 average and a 1.030 OPS with runners in scoring position thanks to 18 hits across 53 at-bats, along with five four-baggers and 31 ribbies. With men on base in general, he’s posted a .295/.317/.558 slash line.
He continues to be streaky as has been the case throughout much of his career. In his last six games through Saturday, Adam is 7-for-25 with one double, three dingers, and eight driven in (.949 OPS). He’s one of the biggest reasons why the Marlins won four games during that span.
The Marlins believed Duvall to still be a strong fielder despite his age, but he has even exceeded their expectations from that standpoint. His 9 Defensive Runs Saved is the most of anybody on the team in 2021.
Duvall was signed to be a short-term solution while the Marlins gave more time to their prospects, and he’s being just that.