FRANK DUNCAN, RIGHT HANDED PITCHER
|Born: January 30, 1992
Drafted: 13th Round, 401st Overall, 2014
How Acquired: Draft
College: University of Kansas
WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES
|Duncan was taken by the Pirates in the 13th round of the 2014 draft as a college senior out of the University of Kansas. He fits the mold of pitchers that the Pirates love: 6’4″ right-handers. He was taken by the Cleveland Indians in the 39th round of the 2013 draft. Duncan has been a starter at Kansas for the last three years and played a large role out of the bullpen as a freshman. Duncan showed excellent control as a senior, with a 14/82 BB/K ratio. According to reports, he throws four pitches for strikes. His fastball sits in the upper-80s and he leans heavily on a slider. He signed quickly.
Duncan pitched in the Jamestown rotation. He showed very good control, but was a little too hittable, as opponents batted .292 against him. He had a strong flyball tendency. Duncan had a 6.94 ERA in his first three starts, then 2.85 after that, with seven walks and 46 strikeouts. He had only a slight platoon split.
Duncan probably would have been in the West Virginia rotation in 2015, but Bradenton opened the season without three-fifths of its projected rotation. Duncan opened with the Marauders and stayed there all year. He walked very few, but continued to be very hittable, with opponents batting .311 against him. Left-handed hitters batted .340. He showed improvement in the second half, posting an ERA of 3.44 and WHIP of 1.25 from the beginning of July on, after posting figures of 5.40 and 1.63 in April through June. Even after July 1, though, opponents hit .291 against him. For the season, he led the Florida State League in hits allowed by a wide margin.
Duncan was out with an oblique injury at the start of the season. He was slated to pitch out of the bullpen and did well over five relief appearances and then one start. In mid-May, Indianapolis needed a pitcher, so the Pirates moved Duncan up. He threw six shutout innings in his first start, then pitched just decently over three more. He went back to Altoona for one start, then moved back up to Indianapolis for the rest of the season and pitched extremely well there. After allowing a 311/335/429 line in 2015, he held hitters to 247/312/333 in 2016. He even increased his K rate significantly. His success early in the year came in spite of the fact that his fastball was mainly in the mid-80s, but it increased to 89-90 late. Duncan succeeded with very good command. He continued to have a large platoon split, allowing a .751 OPS to left-handed hitters and .574 to right-handed hitters.
Duncan’s 2016 season was one of the biggest surprises in the organization. Of course, there’ll be questions whether he can continue his success, or transfer it to the major league level. He should return to Indianapolis in 2017.
|2017: Minor league contract|
|Signing Bonus: N/A
MiLB Debut: 2014
MiLB FA Eligible: 2020
MLB FA Eligible:
Rule 5 Eligible: 2017
Added to 40-Man:
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|June 8, 2013: Drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 39th round, 1161st overall pick.
June 7, 2014: Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 13th round, 401st overall pick; signed on June 14.