Atlanta Braves: Adam Duvall Struggling with the New Ball?
Adam Duvall is still hitting the ball hard, he just doesn’t have the recipe for homers…yet.
The concern is that his hard-hit percentage is still in line with his career norms. According to the stats, he’s hitting it hard consistently but not hard enough to qualify for barrels. Duvall also currently ranks in the 28th percentile in exit velocity. How could he be hitting the ball consistently hard but not barreling it up?
Adam Duvall Getting Under the Ball
Last season, Duvall’s average launch angle was 23.6 degrees. This year he’s sitting on a career-high launch angle of 25.6 degrees. He is getting under 39.7% of his batted balls. This is significantly higher than his career average of 34.8%. While he is still hitting the ball hard, he’s getting under more of them.
Remember, a barreled ball must have the right combination of launch angle and velocity. Duvall is making hard contact but not quite squaring the balls up this year.
The Braves really need Duvall to get this figured out and provide some power and stability in the outfield. Without the homers, Duvall doesn’t bring any other value as a hitter. He doesn’t get on base and he strikes out a lot. If he doesn’t get it together, the Braves may not be able to afford him playing time. How many months can a power hitter slug under .300 before the team makes a move?
Is the New Ball Affecting Adam Duvall?
Since Adam Duvall is simply not barreling balls up this season, we can’t blame the new ball.
Statcast also measures expected homers. Last season Duvall had 29 “no-doubter” homers. Of his three homers this year, zero of them are no doubters.
Hopefully, a correction is coming. He may not be hitting any no-doubter homers, but there’s no doubt the Braves need Duvall to bring some power to the plate. Let’s hope the clean, fresh, Rocky Mountain air is the elixir Duvall needed to get back on track.
Share your thoughts below. Will Duvall turn it around? Is it the new ball? Is he just not squaring the ball up? Sound off!