The Pittsburgh Pirates are in need of a right-handed hitting outfield option and Adam Duvall would add both power and fielding to the roster
Almost all of the Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder options are left-handed. The only non-lefty outfield capable players on the Pirates’ 40-man are Bryan Reynolds, a switch hitter, Ryan Vilade, a waiver claim, and Jared Triolo, an infielder by trade. The Pirates could use both some power and a right-handed bat, and one guy to target could be Adam Duvall.
Duvall’s 2022 season is nothing to be proud of. He missed the entire second half and was mediocre in the first half. He batted just .213/.276/.401 with a .295 wOBA, and 87 wRC+. Duvall’s 6.7% walk rate and 32.1% strikeout rate aren’t out of the ordinary, but his .188 isolated slugging, while still above average, is his worst since 2018.
But some highlights should be noted.
First, Duvall is still a solid defensive outfielder. He’s had better seasons, as he still had -3 Defensive Runs Saved, but he was in the top 88th percentile of Outs Above Average at +4. Left-handers didn’t give Duvall much trouble either. He batted .233/.282/.562 with a 129 wRC+ against southpaws. Sure, he hit for power and only power against LHP, but he was still nearly 30% better than the league average and had an ISO above .350.
You also can’t forget his 2021 season, in which he had 38 home runs and +19 DRS. Sure, he was overall about a league-average batter with a 103 wRC+, but how many outfielders in Major League Baseball consistently provide 30+ home run power and top-of-the-line defense?
While Duvall’s season was cut short, it looked like he started figuring things out. From the start of June up through his final game, he had a 143 wRC+. Like always, he had a mediocre average and OBP at .244 and .302, but he hit ten dingers in just 129 plate appearances and had an ISO of .345.
Now I know what some of you might be thinking, the Pittsburgh Pirates will never pony up the money to get Duvall. Joey Gallo just signed for $11 million for one-year and he’s coming off an even worse year than Duvall. That’s all true, but Duvall has never had the same power potential Gallo has displayed. Gallo has hit 35+ home runs three times. Duvall has done it just once. Gallo has a career 14.8% walk rate and has never posted a walk rate below 12%. Duvall has a career of 6.7%, and his best single-season mark is 8.7%.
Even if Duvall doesn’t approach 40 home runs again, he can still provide good power and a quality outfield glove. With the Pirates having so few right-handed outfielders, a decent 4th/platoon outfielder should be on their radar, especially a right-handed one. Duvall could provide the Pirates with Gold Glove-caliber defense and 25 home runs, all for under $10 million.