Duvall in mix for vacant LF spot

Slugger working to cut down K's, improve defense

Duvall in mix for vacant LF spot

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Throughout his career in the Minor Leagues, Adam Duvall has demonstrated he has power that can clear the fences. If Duvall can prove able to do that in the Major Leagues for the Reds on a consistent basis in 2016, he could emerge as their regular left fielder.

Duvall, 27, came from the Giants in the Trade Deadline deal for pitcher Mike Leake. This spring, he is part of a large pool of candidates seeking either the vacant starting spot in left field or a place on the bench.

• Reds Spring Training info

"The goal is just to go to Spring Training and compete for a job," Duvall said during a recent Reds Caravan stop. "It's the goal every year, but it happens to be an open spot, and that's pretty cool. ... I'm looking forward to seeing what I can do."

Duvall's solo home run

The righty-hitting Duvall combined to hit 30 homers for Triple-A Sacramento and Louisville last year, batting .264/.312/.511 with 87 RBIs. His 26 long balls and 220 total bases for Sacramento led the Pacific Coast League.

He hit four homers for Triple-A Louisville after joining the Reds organization, and then five more in the big leagues for Cincinnati after his Aug. 31 promotion. But there hasn't been staying power, yet, in the Majors. In 55 career games for the Giants and Reds in 2014-15, Duvall is a .204/.268/.409 hitter.

One issue for Duvall has been a high strikeout rate. He had 114 strikeouts with 31 walks over 541 plate appearances in 125 games last season at Triple-A. In 149 career big league plate appearances, he struck out 46 times with nine walks.

During his offseason, Duvall said, he's putting in the work to try and cut down on strikeouts. He's not known for his defense, and would also like to sharpen up in that area.

Duvall's go-ahead homer

"Just to be a more complete baseball player," said Duvall, who has also played third base and first base professionally. "Five days a week, I'm hitting and doing some defense and working out. I'm working with a trainer, Eric Hammer, he's a local trainer here. He's been putting me through some good workouts. Hopefully, it will help."

The rebuilding Reds will need to make up for the loss of third baseman Todd Frazier's power potential after his December trade to the White Sox. Duvall could pick up some of that slack, but he will have company competing for a spot at Spring Training. Scott Schebler, Yorman Rodriguez, Kyle Waldrop, Jake Cave and perhaps top prospect Jesse Winker are among those in the mix for left field. Manager Bryan Price has not ruled out a platoon situation.

"I don't like to define young players as simply a left-hander hitting against a right-handed pitcher and right-handed hitters hitting against lefties," Price said. "I'd like to see someone jump up there and take the lion's share of at-bats because they can handle both."

Duvall's MLB debut

Duvall said he did not feel any added pressure to earn a spot this spring.

"I see it as an opportunity, but I don't think it's a 'make or break' thing," Duvall said. "This game is full of ups and downs, so you just have to take the ups and roll wth it, and the lulls, you try to get out of it."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.