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Article: Twins Daily 2019 Top Prospects: #7 Jhoan Duran

jhoan duran gabriel maciel ernie de la trinidad eduardo escobar
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#1 Seth Stohs

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 10:27 PM

As you recall, the Twins front office was awfully busy around the trade deadline in 2018. It was a tough time for some Twins fans who would miss seeing some of their favorite players dealt to contending teams. The one positive to come out of that situation was the acquisition of some quality talent including our choice for the Twins #7 prospect, Jhoan Duran.

Jhoan Duran came to the Twins along with outfielders Gabriel Maciel and Ernie de la Trinidad in exchange for Eduardo Escobar. When the trade was made, we knew very little about the three. It’s fair to say that Duran has made a strong impression in his short time with the Cedar Rapids Kernels.Age: 21 (DOB: 1-8-1998)
2018 Stats (Low-A): 100.2 IP, 3.75 ERA, 115/38 K/BB, 1.25 WHIP
ETA: 2021
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?

What’s Next

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.

ORDER NOW: 2019 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook (paperback, $17.99)

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

The 2019 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook goes in-depth and provides player bios, scouting reports, statistics and much more on almost 160 Twins minor leaguers.

Click here to view the article
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#2 jkcarew

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 11:01 PM

Don’t know that I’d have a guy with Duran’s track record...and this far from the show, ranked ahead of Thorpe (and maybe one or two others). But I’ll say this...the kid looks the part physically. Was never anywhere near 9k/9 his first 3 years of pro ball. But then all of a sudden last year happened. Maybe a bit of a late bloomer as the strength finally catches up with the length? I hope so.
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#3 gunnarthor

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Posted 07 February 2019 - 12:19 AM

I think I need some more success at the upper levels before I'd rank him this high. But hopefully the Twins push him a bit and he continues to improve.

 

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#4 AlwaysinModeration

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Posted 07 February 2019 - 05:19 AM

Great to see one of trade returns ranked this high, and seems like Duran has great pure stuff that is extremely projectable, which is the basis for a lot of proscpet lists. But let me repost what I posted on the forum when Tom put up spotlight article on Duran, now that we see TD has Gonsalves ranked #11 and Duran at #7:

“I looked up Gonsalves’ minor league numbers:

108 games started, 599IP, 2.42ERA, 1.10WHIP, 9.5/3.6 K/BB.

Duran’s numbers: 54GS, 259IP, 4.02ERA, 1.32WHIP, 8.0/3.2K/BB.

Gonsalves had 4 mediocre starts in the big leagues and people have written him off. Not to throw shade on Duran, like I said I hope he turns into a great prospect for the Twins and sustains the improvement. I would have Gonsalves ahead of Duran on prospect lists, though. He could turn into a mainstay in the rotation for years to come. Duran is a long way from becoming that.

I see that you have Gonsalves ahead of Duran, Tom. But two of the four of you have Gonsalves ranked lower than Duran. I think that Gonsalves’ mediocre debut shouldn’t tarnish his outlook. Remember Berrios...”
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#5 biswrest

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Posted 07 February 2019 - 07:35 AM

Love this ranking!A good season from Duran, could easily vault him into the top 4 with his stuff. 


#6 ashburyjohn

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Posted 07 February 2019 - 08:10 AM

He was never ranked this highly on the mlb.com rankings when with the Diamondbacks - #20 in 2017, not in the top 30 in 2016 or 2018; their 2019 team rankings don't come out for a couple more weeks. This ranking seems aggressive and a little premature to me.

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Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative.-- Oscar Wilde


#7 beckmt

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Posted 07 February 2019 - 08:37 AM

This looks like a guess ranking based on stuff.Have no problem with it, he will either be in the top 10 if he can harness his stuff this year or way down next year if he can't.This is what rankings are about.

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#8 beckmt

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Posted 07 February 2019 - 08:39 AM

It is great to see this many pitching prospects with great upside in the system.Since success rate should be between 20 - 50% numbers do matter.

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#9 Danchat

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Posted 07 February 2019 - 08:46 AM

 

Great to see one of trade returns ranked this high, and seems like Duran has great pure stuff that is extremely projectable, which is the basis for a lot of proscpet lists. But let me repost what I posted on the forum when Tom put up spotlight article on Duran, now that we see TD has Gonsalves ranked #11 and Duran at #7:

“I looked up Gonsalves’ minor league numbers:

108 games started, 599IP, 2.42ERA, 1.10WHIP, 9.5/3.6 K/BB.

Duran’s numbers: 54GS, 259IP, 4.02ERA, 1.32WHIP, 8.0/3.2K/BB.

Gonsalves had 4 mediocre starts in the big leagues and people have written him off. Not to throw shade on Duran, like I said I hope he turns into a great prospect for the Twins and sustains the improvement. I would have Gonsalves ahead of Duran on prospect lists, though. He could turn into a mainstay in the rotation for years to come. Duran is a long way from becoming that.

I see that you have Gonsalves ahead of Duran, Tom. But two of the four of you have Gonsalves ranked lower than Duran. I think that Gonsalves’ mediocre debut shouldn’t tarnish his outlook. Remember Berrios...”

I understand your argument, but at some point there has to be a balance between stuff and statistics. I was disappointed to see that Gonsalves tops out at 91, doesn't have pitches that can strike out MLB hitters, and also has poor command. It's not that I've totally given up on him, but he looks to be a 5th starter or a decent reliever if things go right in my eyes. He's done a great job in the minors, but unlike Berrios I don't know if his stuff will let him be more than a AAAA pitcher.

 

Conversely, if Duran can put things together, he has the stuff to be a great starter. I could see him being a #2 starter if everything goes right, though mostly throughout his career, it hasn't gone right. 

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#10 rdehring

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Posted 07 February 2019 - 08:50 AM

Continue to be more than pleased with what the FO did last July.They totally changed the quality and depth of the entire organization.Have to believe they will use those bullets over the next couple years.Whether that is by continued trading down a few levels and out a few years or by enhancing a trade for a MLB ready asset remains to be seen.The important thing is they stockpiled a lot of assets and this kid just may be the cream of the crop.

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#11 sweetmusicviola16

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Posted 07 February 2019 - 09:13 AM

 

I understand your argument, but at some point there has to be a balance between stuff and statistics. I was disappointed to see that Gonsalves tops out at 91, doesn't have pitches that can strike out MLB hitters, and also has poor command. It's not that I've totally given up on him, but he looks to be a 5th starter or a decent reliever if things go right in my eyes. He's done a great job in the minors, but unlike Berrios I don't know if his stuff will let him be more than a AAAA pitcher.

 

Conversely, if Duran can put things together, he has the stuff to be a great starter. I could see him being a #2 starter if everything goes right, though mostly throughout his career, it hasn't gone right. 

Problem is that not so long ago Gonsalves was thought of as a for sure #3 and possibly a #2. Now he's no more than a AAAA? We so quickly discard one prospect for another and the result is we continue to "hope" that our time to arrive is 2-3 more years down the line.

 

Gonsalves was highly touted by the org and if he becomes just another forgot about prospect we need to know why.

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#12 Seth Stohs

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Posted 07 February 2019 - 09:16 AM

 

Great to see one of trade returns ranked this high, and seems like Duran has great pure stuff that is extremely projectable, which is the basis for a lot of proscpet lists. But let me repost what I posted on the forum when Tom put up spotlight article on Duran, now that we see TD has Gonsalves ranked #11 and Duran at #7:

“I looked up Gonsalves’ minor league numbers:

108 games started, 599IP, 2.42ERA, 1.10WHIP, 9.5/3.6 K/BB.

Duran’s numbers: 54GS, 259IP, 4.02ERA, 1.32WHIP, 8.0/3.2K/BB.

Gonsalves had 4 mediocre starts in the big leagues and people have written him off. Not to throw shade on Duran, like I said I hope he turns into a great prospect for the Twins and sustains the improvement. I would have Gonsalves ahead of Duran on prospect lists, though. He could turn into a mainstay in the rotation for years to come. Duran is a long way from becoming that.

I see that you have Gonsalves ahead of Duran, Tom. But two of the four of you have Gonsalves ranked lower than Duran. I think that Gonsalves’ mediocre debut shouldn’t tarnish his outlook. Remember Berrios...”

 

Prospect rankings, however, typically have very little to do with the stats, though they do obviously factor in. 

 

And, I would hope people have not given up on Gonsalves at all. 

 

But Duran's upside is top of the rotation starter. That's why I rank him higher. That's'why I have Graterol ranked higher. 

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#13 Seth Stohs

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Posted 07 February 2019 - 09:17 AM

Our rankings:

 

Seth (6), Nick (8), Tom (13), Cody (7).

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#14 jsteve96

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Posted 07 February 2019 - 09:44 AM

 

 I would have Gonsalves ahead of Duran on prospect lists, though. He could turn into a mainstay in the rotation for years to come. Duran is a long way from becoming that.

I see that you have Gonsalves ahead of Duran, Tom. But two of the four of you have Gonsalves ranked lower than Duran. I think that Gonsalves’ mediocre debut shouldn’t tarnish his outlook. Remember Berrios...”

Prospect status isn't just about stats. A lefty with low velo can succeed in lower levels if they have 2 decent offspeed and control, which Gonsalves has. I'd put them the same spot if I could. I'm still hopeful for Gonsalves but the "remember berrios" thing isn't relevant because they are complete opposites

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#15 Mike Sixel

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Posted 07 February 2019 - 09:55 AM

Problem is that not so long ago Gonsalves was thought of as a for sure #3 and possibly a #2. Now he's no more than a AAAA? We so quickly discard one prospect for another and the result is we continue to "hope" that our time to arrive is 2-3 more years down the line.
 
Gonsalves was highly touted by the org and if he becomes just another forgot about prospect we need to know why.


No one thought he was that good.
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Have. Not of. Have a great day.

#16 birdwatcher

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Posted 07 February 2019 - 10:14 AM

 

Problem is that not so long ago Gonsalves was thought of as a for sure #3 and possibly a #2. Now he's no more than a AAAA? We so quickly discard one prospect for another and the result is we continue to "hope" that our time to arrive is 2-3 more years down the line.

 

Gonsalves was highly touted by the org and if he becomes just another forgot about prospect we need to know why.

 

 

You're not likely to find a statement from any of the credentialed prospect pundits that describes Gonsalves' ceiling as higher than a #3 and certainly not a sure thing at that. Most have described his ceiling as back end. I doubt anyone in the organization pasted a #2 target on kid's back either. 

 

There's a very good chance that Duran, who is being touted by us, not by the organization, will cease being a darling just like we curbed our infatuation for Gonsalves. Let's just remember who does the touting around here.;)

Edited by birdwatcher, 07 February 2019 - 10:16 AM.

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#17 Dave The Dastardly

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Posted 07 February 2019 - 10:46 AM

I think he needs to buy an "O".


#18 rdehring

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Posted 07 February 2019 - 10:51 AM

 

Prospect rankings, however, typically have very little to do with the stats, though they do obviously factor in. 

 

And, I would hope people have not given up on Gonsalves at all. 

 

But Duran's upside is top of the rotation starter. That's why I rank him higher. That's'why I have Graterol ranked higher. 

Is there some way, Seth, that you all can factor in the probability of player X reaching his ceiling.Kind of like going to Vegas and throwing the dice, knowing there is a 20% probability of X happening and a 30% probability of Y happening.  

 

Not all potential front of the rotation starters are the same.You may think that Graterol, for example, has a 30% chance of reaching his ceiling.Whereas, you may think that Duran has a 10% chance of reaching his ceiling with both having ceilings of an ACE.  

 

Has anyone attempted to do something like this?


#19 howieramone2

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Posted 07 February 2019 - 10:56 AM

 

Problem is that not so long ago Gonsalves was thought of as a for sure #3 and possibly a #2. Now he's no more than a AAAA? We so quickly discard one prospect for another and the result is we continue to "hope" that our time to arrive is 2-3 more years down the line.

 

Gonsalves was highly touted by the org and if he becomes just another forgot about prospect we need to know why.

The reason why is because that's baseball. The rule of thumb I use is, if you have 10 top starting pitching prospects, 25-30% will make it. Pitching is a numbers game. I learned that many years ago from Andy MacPhail.

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#20 howieramone2

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Posted 07 February 2019 - 11:04 AM

 

Prospect status isn't just about stats. A lefty with low velo can succeed in lower levels if they have 2 decent offspeed and control, which Gonsalves has. I'd put them the same spot if I could. I'm still hopeful for Gonsalves but the "remember berrios" thing isn't relevant because they are complete opposites

It's relevant because 80-90% of starting pitcher's rookie debuts are similar to Gonsalves. Our very own Gibson, May, and Berrios's debuts were not dissimilar. It's part of the process.

 

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