KoK Prospect #5: Danny Duffy


Danny Duffy checks in at #5 on the 2010 Kings of Kauffman prospect list.

Who: Daniel Duffy
DOB: 12/21/1988  Lompoc, California
Position: LHP
Height: 6’2″
Weight: 185
Bats: Left
Throws: Left
Acquired: 2007 Draft (3rd Round)

Rankings:
~ Baseball America #8
~ Diamond Futures #5
~ Royals Review #6a
~ The Royal Tower #7
~ John Sickels: B
~ Baseball Prospectus #6
~ Scouting Book #7

Stats:

IP ERA WHIP H/9 BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
2007 AZL Royals (Rk) 37.1 1.45 1.10 5.8 4.1 15.2 3.71
2008 Burlington (A) 81.2 2.20 0.99 6.2 2.8 11.2 4.08
2009 Wilmington (A+) 126.2 2.98 1.18 7.7 2.9 8.9 3.05

I know he walked away from baseball and may never return to the mound, but I am keeping him ranked at number five for 2010. I wrestled with what to do with his spot, but short of his left arm actually falling off this season he remains the Royals’ fifth best prospect in the organization in my mind. This is true whether he takes up sand volleyball, catches up on his reading, or spends the summer sitting on a couch watching TV. I make no claim to know anything about what he is going through or exactly what lies at the root of his decision. Really no one else knows, but plenty of people have speculated or commented on the situation. Take from those thoughts what you will, but I have to say that I am proud to be a part of the Royals blogosphere based on our collective reaction to Duffy’s retirement or, if you prefer the more optimistic term, leave of absence.   Most everyone who covers this organization and has published thoughts or opinions on this matter has done what I consider to be the right thing. Most have placed their concern on Duffy’s personal happiness and future above his role as a baseball player and above this organization’s need for legitimate prospects.

Here are some of the reactions and articles I flagged because I wanted to include them here.  I know I missed a bunch but these are fairly representative of everyone’s thoughts.

14 for 77:  The Curse of the Prospect Royal Lefthander

Royals Kingdom:  Quick Thoughts on Danny Duffy

Kansas City Star:  One of Royals’ top prospects quits baseball

Kansas City Star:  Friend gives insight about Duffy

Baseball America:  Royals Say Duffy Lost Desire To Play

Royalscentricity:  Danny Duffy, Not a Natural, O-Royal, or Royal

FanGraphs: Thoughts on Danny Duffy

The Common Man: Why and When to Walk Away

All that aside, let’s assume he didn’t walk away from baseball, or if you like we can assume he’s coming back at some point in the relatively near future.  There is a lot to like about Duffy and his future prospects at the major league level.  First and foremost he’s a fellow southpaw.  He possesses a 88-92 mph fastball to go along with a big curveball, a developing changeup, and good command.  Both John Sickels and Baseball America project him to be a potential number 3 starter.

The only real negatives tied to Duffy are the concerns about his tendency to throw across his body and his fly ball tendencies.  However in 2009 he appeared to make progress with respect to the second of those two issues dropping his FB% from 47.5% in 2008 to 37.4% last season.

For now this is all academic since he has stepped away from the game, but for some reason I believe he will return to the game of baseball and to the Royals organization.  Perhaps it is just wishful thinking, but I’m going to roll with it nonetheless.

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Tags: AL Central Baseball Danny Duffy Kansas City Royals KC MLB Royals