Adam Duvall took a step back to take a step forward at the plate. On Saturday night in Sacramento, he turned it all into a leap ahead.The Giants' No. 16 prospect mashed home runs in his first three at-bats, hitting solo shots in the second, fourth and seventh innings, as Triple-A Sacramento
Adam Duvall took a step back to take a step forward at the plate. On Saturday night in Sacramento, he turned it all into a leap ahead.
The Giants' No. 16 prospect mashed home runs in his first three at-bats, hitting solo shots in the second, fourth and seventh innings, as Triple-A Sacramento fell to Fresno, 7-3, at Raley Field.
During a tough June, Duvall noticed things about his swing that felt off and decided on a makeover for his approach at the plate.
"The past couple months, I've kind of been in a little rut," he said. "I was telling someone else the last couple weeks, I've taken about 25, 30 at-bats to where I felt like I actually had to take a step back to take a step forward. I closed my stance off, so I knew I wasn't going to be hitting for power much, but I needed to do that to fix the old swing that I had."
With his power numbers falling -- he hit four homers in 25 games last month after belting six each in April and May -- Duvall zeroed his focus on the way his front foot was landing.
"The problem was I was landing open," he said. "About two months ago, I started landing open and my hips were never getting square to the plate, which is important when you're hitting. What I did was I just closed myself completely off and got used to landing closed in order to get back to where I was.
"And it worked."
A few days ago, Duvall switched back to his usual stance. On Saturday, the University of Louisville product went to left field with his first blast and left-center with his second. He knew he also hammered the third ball to left-center but wasn't sure it would leave the yard.
"I thought it was [gone], and then about halfway down the line, I started taking off running because I didn't know if I hit it high enough," he said. "I thought it could bounce off the wall, but it ended up getting over. That was a good feeling of relief."
The blast gave Duvall the first three-homer game of his career and the third in the Pacific Coast League this season, following Omaha's Francisco Peña on June 16 and Tacoma's Justin Ruggiano on June 27.
Duvall, who also hit for the cycle on April 19, accomplished Saturday's feat against a familiar club. He hit two homers in a game three times last year as a member of the Grizzlies when Fresno was San Francisco's Triple-A affiliate.
June wasn't just a tough month from a power standpoint. Duvall batted .165/.250/.340 while trying to pinpoint what was causing his problems at the plate. His retooled mechanics have worked wonders as he's batting .340/.365/.660 with four homers in 11 games in July.
"I hit .150 or something [in June], and I've never done that in my life," he said. "I feel like if I can get out of that month, I can get out of anything. It's comforting to know that no matter how bad it gets, there's always brighter days ahead. It's important to keep in the back of your head, especially in the game of baseball when there's a lot of ups and downs."
Saturday's power surge matched the Sacramento record for homers in a game set five other times, most recently by Chris Carter on April 22, 2012 against Reno. It also put Duvall atop the Triple-A leaderboard with 20 homers.
"That's a good feeling. That's where I want to be," he said. "I want to be atop that list."
Fresno wasn't lacking for power of its own. Matt Duffy and Astros No. 16 prospectMax Stassi went deep to lead the Grizzlies to their third win in four games.
Tyler Maun is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @TylerMaun.