ATLANTA -- It has slowed over time, but for a couple of years, Adam Duvall was The One Who Got Away for much of the Giants fan base.
An organization that has had decades of trouble developing homegrown outfielders traded Duvall to the Reds and watched him hit 64 homers in 2016-17 and make an All-Star team. Duvall was far from Oracle Park, but as he broke through in Cincinnati, he was aware that fans grumbled about the deal.
"I have extended family (in the Bay Area) and they would talk about it," he said Friday. "I got an opportunity with the Reds to get a lot of playing time. For being a young guy, that was good for me to get some playing time and show what I could do."
The mistake the Giants made wasn't necessarily underestimating the power -- Duvall had always hit homers in the minors, including 30 in a season with High-A San Jose. The Giants simply didn't think he could handle left field, and with Matt Duffy at third, they included Duvall in a 2015 deadline trade for Mike Leake. They wanted more consistent starting pitching. It didn't work out that way.
Duvall's run in Cincinnati ended last year, when the home run power wasn't enough to make up for a .205 average and .286 OBP. But he has found a role with the Braves, starting 23 games in the outfield and posting a .863 OPS. His homer against his old team on Saturday night was his ninth in 103 at-bats for the NL East champs.
The Braves clinched Friday night against some players Duvall considered mentors. Before Friday's game, Duvall said he's grateful for the work the Giants did in getting him ready for the big leagues. He pointed to Buster Posey and Ryan Vogelsong -- who is coaching with the Giants this weekend -- as two former teammates who were particularly helpful.
"That was a big, big part of my career when I first got introduced to playing in the big leagues," Duvall said. "They were a very professional group."