MLB trends: Adam Duvall chasing unique 40-homer season; Kyle Tucker breaking out for Astros

Fewer than two weeks stay within the 2021 MLB common season and the postseason races are tighter than they appeared like they’d be a lot of the summer season. Hooray for that. Practically half the league is inside 4 video games of a postseason spot proper now.

Our weekly collection inspecting varied traits throughout baseball continues with a have a look at a doubtlessly distinctive 40-homer season, a younger participant’s breakout, and one franchise’s document e-book getting rewritten. Last week we looked at Milwaukee’s excellent back of the rotation, Blake Snell’s dominance, and Boston’s terrible defense.

Duvall chasing distinctive 40-homer season

Fast, are you aware how leads the Nationwide League in RBI? It is Marlins-turned-Braves outfielder Adam Duvall, as I am guessing you surmised from the header right here. Duvall has pushed in 107 runs this season (68 with Miami and 39 with Atlanta), tops within the Senior Circuit, and he has an opportunity to change into the third participant to steer his league in RBI whereas altering groups midseason. The listing:

Adam Duvall


107 (and counting)



Traded at deadline

Gus Zernial 



White Sox


Traded in three-team Minnie Minoso deal in April

Heinie Zimmerman





Traded in Larry Doyle deal in August

The Braves non-tendered Duvall over the winter despite the fact that he completed third within the Nationwide League with 16 dwelling runs final 12 months. He hooked on with the Marlins, performed properly, then returned to Atlanta as a part of their post-Ronald Acuña Jr. damage outfield facelift. Duvall’s been a godsend for the first-place Braves, smacking 15 homers and driving in 39 runs in 45 video games.

Total, Duvall is hitting .229/.284/.503 with 37 dwelling runs this season, giving him an opportunity to hit 40 homers with a sub-.300 on-base proportion. That has by no means occurred in baseball historical past. Solely seven instances has a participant hit 35 homers with a sub-.300 on-base proportion, and one participant accounts for 4 of the seven cases:

Pedro Alvarez

2013 Pirates



Joe Carter

1989 Cleveland



Dave Kingman

1986 Athletics



Tony Armas

1983 Red Sox



Dave Kingman

1982 Mets



Dave Kingman

1976 Mets



Dave Kingman

1975 Mets



The bottom on-base proportion by a 40-homer hitter is .300 on the nostril by Armas with the 1984 Crimson Sox (43 homers). The Braves have 13 video games remaining. Assuming 4 plate appearances per sport, Duvall wants to succeed in base in 25 of his 52 remaining plate look to push his on-base proportion over .300. Doable? Positive. Tough? Very. Both method, he is been productive.

Duvall is a little bit of a unicorn. He is a throwback as an old-school RBI man even when the low on-base proportion is an eyesore. Duvall can also be a little bit of an analytics darling as a result of he posts large exit velocities and barrel charges, and he is an excellent defensive outfielder. He’s the sort of participant everybody can recognize as a result of he drives in runs and does sufficient different issues properly.

The Braves are on tempo to win their fourth straight NL East title regardless of by no means actually dominating. They sat round .500 a lot of the 12 months — it wasn’t till Aug. 5 that they acquired over .500 for good — and have been bailed out partially by the remainder of the division’s ineptitude. Duvall has given them a carry although. Dismissing his contributions primarily based on his low on-base proportion could be a mistake.

Tucker breaking out for ‘Stros

It looks like he is been round for a decade now, however Astros outfielder Kyle Tucker continues to be solely 24 years previous, and that is his first full 162-game large league season. He made his MLB debut in 2018, spent most of 2019 in Triple-A (the place he went 30/30), then was a daily through the shortened 60-game season in 2020. Now Tucker is lastly get an opportunity to play a full, actual season.

And this 12 months the No. 5 choose in 2015 draft is rising not solely as a mainstay in Houston’s lineup, however as a possible All-Star. He owns a .296/.354/.557 batting line with 27 dwelling runs total, and he is been even higher for the reason that cherry-picked date of Could 9: .331/.387/.612 with 21 dwelling runs and solely 57 strikeouts in 389 plate appearances. That is almost 5 months of MVP-caliber play.

“I have been seeing the ball very well and attempting to hit it on the barrel and never chase pitches,” Tucker instructed reporters, including the Associated Press, when requested about his breakout 12 months earlier this month. “I’m simply attempting to do my job and get on base and rating some runs.”

The underlying knowledge loves Tucker. Based mostly on the standard of his contact (exit velocity, launch angle, and many others.), he is within the high three % of baseball in each anticipated batting common and anticipated slugging proportion. His 15.7 % strikeout price and 9.2 % swinging strike price are significantly better than the MLB averages (23.2 % and 11.3 %, respectively), and he charges properly defensively too.

Two years ago Baseball America ranked Tucker the No. 12 prospect in baseball and stated he “initiatives as a middle-of-the-order bat who is usually a plus hitter with plus energy,” and that is precisely what he is change into. The floor stats are wonderful, the underlying knowledge backs it up, and the scouting report stated that is doable. It is a traditional case of a extremely regarded prospect reaching his ceiling.

Tucker is basically the final piece of Houston’s tanking period to return up by means of the farm system. They held the No. 5 choose in 2015 as a result of they went 70-92 in 2014, the final 12 months earlier than they returned to the postseason. There aren’t any extra excessive draft picks arising by means of the system now. Tucker’s the final one and he is a stud. The rebuild has produced one final cornerstone participant.

A’s pitchers setting strikeout information

The previous few weeks have not gone nice for the Athletics. They’ve misplaced 20 of their final 34 video games and fallen out of a postseason spot, and their pitching has actually struggled. The starters have not been nice (Chris Bassitt’s unlucky damage hasn’t helped) and the bullpen has coughed up method too many late leads. All these blown leads are a major purpose Oakland could miss the postseason.

Though issues have not gone properly within the standings the previous few weeks, three Athletics starters are on the verge of creating franchise historical past. Particularly, three completely different pitchers are on tempo to interrupt the workforce’s single-season strikeout price document (amongst pitchers with sufficient innings to qualify for the ERA title). Test it out:

1. Frankie Montas, 2021: 9.93

1. Frankie Montas, 2021: 26.5%

2. Sean Manaea, 2021: 9.72

2. Sean Manaea, 2021: 25.6%

3. Chris Bassitt, 2021: 9.18

3. Chris Bassitt, 2021: 25.2%

4. Todd Stottlemyre, 1995: 8.80

4. Vida Blue, 1971: 24.9%

5. Gio Gonzalez, 2011: 8.78

5. Gio Gonzalez, 2011: 22.8%

As spectacular as this accomplishment could be (the A’s have been round without end and setting any type of franchise document is fairly cool), it’s closely influenced by the period. There are extra strikeouts nowadays than ever earlier than, so yeah, strikeout information are going fall, often even a number of instances over in a single 12 months.

For instance, Blue’s 24.9 % strikeout price in 1971 was 75 % higher than the 13.0 % league common. Montas’ 26.5 % strikeout price this 12 months is simply 14 % higher than the 23.2 % league common. Context is necessary. When it comes to absolute worth Montas, Manaea, and Bassitt are rewriting the franchise strikeout document books. When it comes to relative worth, nah.

That little little bit of context is necessary however I do not assume it diminishes the accomplishment. Having three starters break the franchise’s single season strikeout price document in the identical 12 months is a cool factor, and I take pleasure in cool baseball issues. Will these strikeouts and people pitchers lead the A’s to a postseason berth? Unclear, however the A’s document e-book won’t ever look the identical. | MLB traits: Adam Duvall chasing distinctive 40-homer season; Kyle Tucker breaking out for Astros


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