In terms of immediate impact, the Twins appear to have been fleeced in the July 2018 trade that sent Eduardo Escobar to the Arizona Diamondbacks. In his first full season in the desert, Escobar has become a run-producing monster hitting .271 with 35 home runs and 118 RBI, but what the Twins got may pan out in the coming years.
In return for Escobar, the Twins received a low-level pitcher by the name of Jhoan Duran. Duran came to the Twins as a raw prospect with a fastball that sits in the mid-90s but can reach as high as 98 MPH. Although it was a small sample size with Low-A Cedar Rapids, the right-hander was impressive with the Kernels (2-1, 2.00 ERA in six starts), setting the stage for 2019.
This summer, Duran took another step forward beginning the year in High-A Fort Myers. Although his 2-9 record didn’t show it, the 21-year old put up solid numbers with a 3.23 ERA and 95 strikeouts in 78 innings. Although he has had issues with his command, he earned a promotion to Double-A Pensacola, where he went 3-3 with a 4.86 ERA in seven starts.
Although Escobar has turned into a key cog in the Diamondbacks lineup, the Twins were proactive in getting a guy that they thought could turn into a solid pitching prospect down the road. Entering 2020, Duran will likely start at Pensacola but could work his way up to the starting rotation and form a solid 1-2 with Brusdar Graterol by 2021.