Twins Daily 2019 Top Prospects: #7 Jhoan Duran
Image courtesy of Steve Buhr (graphics by Brock Beauchamp)Age: 21 (DOB: 1-8-1998)
2018 Stats (Low-A): 100.2 IP, 3.75 ERA, 115/38 K/BB, 1.25 WHIP
2018 Ranking: NR
National Top 100 Rankings
BA: NR |MLB: NR | ESPN: NR |BP: NR
What’s To Like
There is a lot to like. When Jhoan Duran signed with the Diamondbacks in February of 2015 out of the Dominican Republic, he was tall and lanky. That means that he was often touted as “projectable” as he had room to fill out. When the 2018 season ended, Duran stood 6-5 and weighed in at about 220 pounds.
With the increased strength, Duran’s fastball has taken off. Duran throws 94-96 and even touched 98 mph. If you watched Tom Froemming’s Prospect Spotlight on Duran, he was hitting 96 in late August despite already being over his previous career high innings. He also gets some sink on his pitches.
Duran also throws what appears to be two different breaking balls. He has a slider that can dart out of the zone, but he also has more of a curveball that drops. Both can be swing-and-miss pitches. He also is working to improve his changeup. Potentially, he’s got a big fastball with movement, four pitches and the ability to miss bats. Yes, potentially there is a whole lot to like in Jhoan Duran.
What’s Left To Work On
For Duran, he needs to work on the things that all young pitchers need to work on.
While he has shown good control, he will need to continue to improve his command.
While most believe that he can remain a starter, that will likely depend on continuing to improve and be more consistent with his secondary pitches. Especially, his changeup remains a work-in-progress. Development of that third (and maybe fourth) pitch may determine whether he remains a starter or if he becomes a potentially dominant, triple-digit throwing late-inning reliever.
Before his six-inning stint to end the 2018 season in Cedar Rapids, his numbers had not yet matched his stuff. He had an ERA of 4.75 a 1.50 WHIP in 64 2/3 innings with Kane County before the trade. He struck out 9.9 batters per nine innings, but he also walked 3.9 per nine innings. After joining the Kernels, he was incredible, posting a 2.00 ERA and a 0.81 WHIP over 36 innings. He increased his K-rate to 11.0 per nine innings, and reduced his walks per nine innings to 2.5. So was it a great, short-sample size six-game stint, which included seven no-hit innings in his Kernels debut, or has Duran actually turned corner in his career?
After spending last season in Cedar Rapids, Duran will start the 2019 season in Fort Myers. At this point, it’s all about developing those things (third and fourth pitches, consistent command). Working in the Florida State League should allow him an opportunity to put up some big numbers and potentially continue to rise up the Twins prospect charts. If he gets off to a strong start, he will certainly be a candidate for a midseason promotion to the Twins new Double-A affiliate in Pensacola.
TD Top Prospects: Honorable Mention
TD Top Prospects: 16-20
TD Top Prospects: 11-15
TD Top Prospects: #10 Akil Baddoo
TD Top Prospects: #9 Blayne Enlow
TD Top Prospects: #8 Lewis Thorpe
TD Top Prospects: #7 Jhoan Duran
TD Top Prospects: #6 Coming Tomorrow…
Get to know more about Duran and many more minor league players in the 2019 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook.
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