When the Cincinnati Reds sent starting pitcher Mike Leake to San Francisco late Thursday night, the prized piece they got back in the trade is pitcher Keury Mella, ranked the Giants' No. 4 overall prospect by Baseball America entering this season, and ranked 4No. 1 overall by some outlets.
The other player was corner infielder Adam Duvall, a 26-year-old who the Giants drafted in the 11th round in 2010 and who entered the 2015 season ranked as the Giants' 13th overall prospect by Baseball America.
Not lost on many is the fact that the Reds already have a pretty good set of corner infielders in third baseman Todd Frazier (a back-to-back All-Star among the league leaders in home runs) and first baseman Joey Votto (a four-time All-Star, a Gold Glove winner, and the 2010 NL MVP). So the prospects of Duvall cracking the big club anytime soon doesn't exactly look promising.
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His 26 home runs this season are tops in the Pacific Coast League and well ahead of the leader in the International League. He notched his 80th RBI in his 100th game for the Sacramento River Cats before being lifted after the trade Thursday night. He hit three straight home runs in three straight at-bats on July 11.
But perhaps most convincing to the Reds?
Duvall made his major-league debut on June 26, 2014. When he stepped into the box for his first career at-bat, it was against the Reds. And Leake was on the mound.
Duvall battled hard before striking out on a foul tip in that first at-bat. Then he did this in his next at-bat:
The Reds got the win as Leake struck out 12 and gave up just that one run.