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Twins Daily 2020 Top Prospects: #6 Jhoan Duran

Brusdar Graterol is no longer part of the Twins organization, but the club still has a triple-digit flame thrower in the minor leagues. Jhoan Duran came to the Twins from the Diamondbacks as part of the Eduardo Escobar trade. Since that time, he has continued to move up prospect rankings and he could be a top-100 prospect at this time next season.
Image courtesy of Daniel Venn, Pensacola Blue Wahoos (graphics by Brock Beauchamp)
Age: 22 (DOB: 1-8-1998)
2019 Stats (High-A/Double-A): 115.0 IP, 3.76 ERA, 136/40 K/BB, 1.19 WHIP
ETA: 2020
2019 Ranking: 7
2018 Ranking: Not in the organization

National Top 100 Rankings
BA: 96 | MLB: NR | ATH: NR |BP: NR

What’s To Like

Duran might have been one of the biggest risers in the entire Twins system last year. He made it all the way to Double-A last year where he was, on average, over three years younger than the competition. His 115 innings were a career high and he has pitched over 100 innings in each of the last two seasons. Also, Duran led the Twins minor league system with 136 strikeouts.

He has all the traits teams are looking for when it comes to starting pitchers at the big league level. His four-seam fastball is consistently in the mid-to-upper 90s and he can crank it into triple-digits. To get strikeouts, he uses a 90+ mph two-seamer that acts more like a sinker/splitter. His curveball continues to improve and his change-up continues to get more work.



Duran has a solid frame at 6-foot-5 and he has continued to add weight through his professional career. Since last year at this time, he has gone from 220 pounds to 232 pounds. He was added to the Twins 40-man roster this off-season so there is a chance he could make his debut in 2020.

What’s Left To Work On

For any pitcher with Duran’s velocity, there are going to be questions about whether or not he can find consistent success as a starting pitcher. This coming season will be critical for him to prove he can be a starter for the long-term. He needs to continue compiling innings to show he can meet the ever-changing demands on big-league pitchers.

Command has also been an issue throughout his professional career because of an inconsistent delivery. That being said, he threw strikes on nearly 65% of his pitches and he struck out more than 10 batters per nine innings for the second consecutive season.

His secondary pitches improved last season, but he will need to continue to get work with them as he gets closer to the majors. The Twins are in win-now mode and the club was already planning on moving a top pitching prospect to the bullpen. Could the Twins ask Duran to do the same thing?

What’s Next

Duran ended the year with seven starts at Double-A and that is likely where he will spend the majority of the 2020 season. Minnesota has added plenty of depth to the big-league rotation, so the club doesn’t have to feel like Duran needs to be rushed. He can continue to improve at Double-A with the chance to move to Triple-A in the season’s second half. Who knows? Maybe he could be a late-season addition to the bullpen like the Twins did with Brusdar Graterol in 2019.

Twins Daily 2020 Top 20 Prospects
Honorable Mentions
20. Jose Miranda, 3B/2B
19. Cole Sands, RHP
18. Travis Blankenhorn, 2B/LF
17. Misael Urbina, OF
16. Edwar Colina, RP
15. Matt Canterino, RHP
14. Matt Wallner, OF
13. Wander Javier, SS
12. Gilberto Celestino, OF
11. Lewis Thorpe, LHP
10. Blayne Enlow, RHP
9. Brent Rooker, OF
8. Keoni Cavaco, SS
7. Ryan Jeffers, C
6. Jhoan Duran, RHP
Stop by tomorrow for prospect #5!
---------------------------------------------------------

Get to know more about Duran and about another 170 minor league players in the 2020 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook.

ORDER NOW: 2020 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook (paperback, $17.99)

ORDER NOW: 2019 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook (eBook, $12.99)

The 2020 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook goes in-depth and provides player bios, scouting reports, statistics and much more on about 170 Twins minor leaguers.

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23 Comments

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Aerodeliria
Feb 11 2020 09:33 PM

Ahhh! This is the prospect I wanted to read about the most. He has dynamic stuff. I really hope they keep him as a starter at least until he indicates some limits on durability. He seems to have great movement on his pitches.

 

I do hope his delivery becomes a bit smoother over time.

    • Danchat, mikelink45, Dman and 6 others like this

I just hope his entry song as he comes from the bullpen is "Hungry Like a Wolf".I have already dubbed him Duran Duran.

 

    • Dman and AdoreAdorno like this

Seems like he abbreviates his follow thru, but still his delivery doesn't look like a max effort strain. The vertical movement on his breaking stuff is worth piles of money. Even if they know it's coming, most guys won't be able to straighten it out. He sure does look like a future starter in the majors. Possibly a good one.

    • Dman, SF Twins Fan, jrod23 and 2 others like this
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Doctor Gast
Feb 12 2020 07:12 AM

To me he`s our real diamond in the rough left. Diamonds are very rare (very hard to come by)& precious so we need to take good care of them & hold onto them. Only a year older than Graterol he has many years to develop into an ace we desperately need. His talent we need to keep him as a starter & make every attempt to do so. Not make the same mistake the 3X. The small temporary gain of having him in an already full BP is not worth the cost of not grooming him as our future ace.

    • DocBauer, SF Twins Fan and rdehring like this

Was excited when the Twins got him in the trade and am still excited about Duran.The K9 has always been there.His FIP and XFIP are better than his ERA so no regression worries.He is who he is which is a very good pitcher.Like others have said if can be just a bit more consistent on the delivery this guy looks like a stud.He looks like someone that can make me forget about Escobar.

    • Twins33, Ben Noble and SF Twins Fan like this

 

Was excited when the Twins got him in the trade and am still excited about Duran.The K9 has always been there.His FIP and XFIP are better than his ERA so no regression worries.He is who he is which is a very good pitcher.Like others have said if can be just a bit more consistent on the delivery this guy looks like a stud.He looks like someone that can make me forget about Escobar.

I will never forget about Escobar and hope that someday he returns, perhaps as a utility guy at the end of his career.

 

But this kid sure looks like he can be special.As for a Top 100 ranking next year, I think not as I don't want him to retain rookie status in 2021.Someone is going to be this year's Randy Dobnak and push his way up several levels to the Twins.Why not Duran?

    • Dantes929, Dman and SF Twins Fan like this

Will likely start season in AA, but since on 40 man may be called up for spot start or to cover short stay on IL. Very exciting prospect, looks like he had passed Graterol in Twins evaluation as possible starters. Besides Thorpe, Dobnak, and Smeltzer who made their MLB debut last year, definitely the next in line as potential starter, and most likely top of rotation starter

    • rdehring likes this
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terrydactyls1947
Feb 12 2020 09:07 AM
Jeffers and Duran can't make it into the Twins top five prospects. What a dynamic farm system they have. Future looks bright.
    • Seth Stohs, DocBauer, Ben Noble and 5 others like this

 

 

But this kid sure looks like he can be special.As for a Top 100 ranking next year, I think not as I don't want him to retain rookie status in 2021.Someone is going to be this year's Randy Dobnak and push his way up several levels to the Twins.Why not Duran?

How about a top 100 ranking right now?Eric Longenhagen just released his top 100 on Fangraphs.  https://blogs.fangra...-100-prospects/Duran comes in at 63.

    • birdwatcher, Dantes929, Dman and 5 others like this

Our Rankings:

 

Seth: 6

Nick: 7

Tom: 5

Cody: 6

    • howieramone2 likes this
I’m always leery of pitchers who struggle with command. There are plenty of guys who throw hard but fail in the majors
Kid looks special. Like the word and glimpses of Balocovic as well. I applaud the FO in regard to being aggressive with prospects and challenging them. But the beauty is, we don't have to feel compelled to rush either of them.
    • howieramone2 likes this

I like this guy a lot. The fastballs look great and if he can develop that curve against righties and the change against lefties then he's going to have the arsenal to stick in the rotation.

 

AA should be a good test for him this year: more advanced hitters who won't flail at everything and more guys who might not get overwhelmed by the heat, so his command should have to improve for him to dominate.

 

I think the bullpen is deep enough they won't be looking to move him in as a late season flamethrower: his development track as a starter looks good and he could be competing for a job in the rotation in 2021 if he has a strong year. I'd love to see him continue to roll and be the 5th starter in 2021 and a top 3 guy for years to come. He's got the stuff. If he can refine it he's going to be great.

    • Danchat and howieramone2 like this

I would like to see Duran get his feet wet at the major league level this year and be key part of the rotation next year. Whether that is a solid number 4 orbetter for his first full year. It would be great to see Duran and Balazovic fill 2 spots in that 5 man rotation in 2021.

Timely article, because I just saw this on Twitter:

    • Dantes929, Danchat, dbminn and 1 other like this

3 walks per 9 is Odorizzi level but most pitchers considered aces have that much closer to 2 walks/9.I love pitchers that are capable of throwing 100mph but don't especially love when they actually throw that hard, especially in the minors. I know even the soft throwers (90 mph is soft?) develop arm problems but max effort doesn't seem worth it.I would think if he settles in around 95 it would help his command also.

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howieramone2
Feb 12 2020 11:16 AM

 

I will never forget about Escobar and hope that someday he returns, perhaps as a utility guy at the end of his career.

 

But this kid sure looks like he can be special.As for a Top 100 ranking next year, I think not as I don't want him to retain rookie status in 2021.Someone is going to be this year's Randy Dobnak and push his way up several levels to the Twins.Why not Duran?

I would love to see Almost Everyday Eduardo back!

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Dr. Beanpole
Feb 12 2020 11:38 AM

Seems like a promising guy and somewhat of a steal for Escobar on an expiring deal. Sounds like the best thing we can all hope for is something like 85% of Noah Syndergaard without the injury issues (hopefully). That's probably a future 2nd guy on a good team and an ace on a bad team. 

 

Hope he can achieve his potential! Excited to have some heat being brought up soon.

    • birdwatcher likes this

6-5, 230. Balazovic closing in on 6-5, 220.

 

It doesn't guarantee anything, but when assessing the chances that someone can sling a baseball 95 mph 3000+ times over the course of a summer, like a major-league starter will...the stats above help...a lot.

    • Twins33, Dman, DocBauer and 1 other like this
I’m anxious to see how this top 5 plays out... Lewis, Larnach, Kirilloff, Balazovic...who is the 5th guy in the Twins Minor Leagues? AND that guy is in the top 5? WHO is it?!?! THE MYSTERY!!
    • Dantes929 and DocBauer like this

 

I’m anxious to see how this top 5 plays out... Lewis, Larnach, Kirilloff, Balazovic...who is the 5th guy in the Twins Minor Leagues? AND that guy is in the top 5? WHO is it?!?! THE MYSTERY!!

I heard Nick Punto is making a come back.

    • goulik and jrod23 like this

I think the mystery guy is the new number 30 player--probably one of the honorable mentions.He'll replace Graterol.

 

I've seen Duran throw a few times now in the minors.He's one of those guys you stop your conversation for because of the pop you heard after the pitch.Don't get me wrong.When I'm at a game, I watch, but he just has that pop.I'm excited about this guy we got for a utility player...my favorite utility guy of all time.

    • Dman, DocBauer and dbminn like this

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