The Minnesota Twins trade deadline addition Jhoan Duran was named by Baseball America as the organization’s sleeper prospect.
The Minnesota Twins had a trio of prospects recognized by Baseball America at the end of September as they released their best hitter, best pitcher, and sleeper prospects for each organization based off of 2018 performances. Alex Kirilloff and Brusdar Graterol took home honors of best hitter and pitcher unsurprisingly. It was the choice for sleeper that is intriguing.
Baseball America chose right-handed pitcher Jhoan Duran to carry that sleeper title for the Twins. As fans, we have certainly not been able to become extremely familiar with Duran as he has only been in the organization since the trade deadline this past summer. Duran was part of the return for Eduardo Escobar along with Ernie De La Trinidad and Gabriel Maciel.
Duran was signed as an international free agent in December of 2014 by the Diamondbacks. He has some pretty good height standing at 6’5″ and weighs in at 175 pounds and will turn 21-years-old in January. The right-hander’s first start for the Twins was an impressive one and if Baseball America is right he could do more than just have one great flash.
It may take Duran a bit of time to develop but he has an interesting arsenal led by his mid-90s fastball. Not only does it have good velocity but it has good sinking movement to it as well. Duran also employs a good curveball and a changeup as well.
Before coming to the Twins organization Duran had mixed results as he had made 15 starts and had a 4.73 ERA and a 71/28 K/BB with Kane County at Low Single-A. After coming to the Twins he stayed in the same league with the Kernels and made six starts and had a much better 2.00 ERA and a 44/10 K/BB.
As mentioned earlier one of the highlights was his Kernels debut where he tossed seven scoreless innings and recorded eight strikeouts. He also had a game where he recorded 10 strikeouts and two other games with 9 strikeouts. So as the Twins likely hoped, Duran is able to use that velocity and mix of pitches to get batters to swing and miss.
We may have to wait a few seasons before we think about Duran putting on a Twins uniform, but at least one set of evaluators believes the Twins acquired a good arm for the organization. Only time will tell just how special Duran may be.