Jon Duplantier, RHP, ARI

He’s recovering from elbow issues in April, but Jon Duplantier is on the 60-man, and he will help the Diamondbacks this season. In what role?

Video courtesy of FanGraphs
  • Born: July 11, 1994
  • B/T: Left/Right
  • 6’4″, 240-lbs
  • Drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2016 MLB June Amateur Draft from Rice University (Houston, TX)

The Numbers

His raw numbers are listed above courtesy of baseball-reference.com. Let’s aggregate by year then focus on the important numbers for minor leaguers:

2017 looks pretty good right about now, doesn’t it? Yes, that walk rate was a bit high, but when you are striking out almost a third of the batters you face, the results are good.

It’s a fine line and fair, however. 2018 saw that walk rate creep up to 10%, and he lost 5 points on his strikeout rate, and now that 0.978 WHIP in 2017 is 1.176 in 2018 and little warning bells are going off.

In 2019 in AAA, the walk rate shot up and now you are looking at a 1.553 WHIP. Granted that was in Reno on the moon (er, I mean the Pacific Coast League, but it’s the same), so we can forgive that walk rate.

Sure enough, he gets to the majors and the walk rate drops almost back to 2018 levels. See what I mean about the PCL? Unfortunately for Duplantier, his strikeout rate lost another five points and the end result is a 1.555 WHIP. Just like Reno.

He’s got a nice pitch mix, though his 93-95 mph FB was down last year to 91-94, but given his injuries, that’s not a surprise.

His slider is his best pitch, a plus offering, and he has a nice changeup too. The ingredients are there for him to get strikeouts.

The Scouts

Warnings

He had bicep tendinitis in 2018, shoulder inflammation in 2019 (when you pitch in the PCL, and you get hurt, that’s literally adding injury to insult), and now elbow trouble in 2020. Do I really have to spell out this warning any further?

He also needs, in the worst way, to get those walks under control. He’s just sabotaging his efforts.

Conclusion

Given the injury history, he might do better in the bullpen. Since he’s coming back from elbow issues now, it’s a forgone conclusion that this is how he will be used in 2020. If he doesn’t start to dominate batters as he did in the past, he’ll stay in the pen.

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