Saturday, January 3, 2015

DrB's 2015 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #10 Matt Duffy!

Matt Duffy, IF.  DOB:  1/15/1991, 6'2", 170 lbs., B-R, T-R.

2012 Short Season:  .247/.361/.286, 1 HR, 10 SB, 12.0 BB%, 10.2 K%, 216 PA.
2013 Low A:           .307/.405/.418, 4 HR, 22 SB, 13.3 BB%, 12.1 K%, 339 PA.
2013 High A:          .292/.342/.509, 5 HR, 3 SB, 6.1 BB%, 13.9 K%, 115 PA.
2014 AA:                .332/.398/.444, 24 2B, 4 3B, 3 HR, 20 SB, 10.1 BB%, 15.8 K%, 417 PA.
2014 MLB:              .267/.302/.300, 1.6 BB%, 21.9 K%, 64 PA.

Matt Duffy!  The Duffster.  The Duffman.  What Giants prospect watcher is not absolutely head-over-heels over what Matt Duffy accomplished last year?  He was drafted in 2012 out of Long Beach State where he had nice K and BB numbers but otherwise there was nothing at all to make you think he was anything other than an organizational filler pick.  His first pro summer in Salem-Keizer did nothing to disabuse folks of that notion.  Next season he started to hit in Augusta, an extremely pitching friendly environment.  He kept it going and actually improved on his low A numbers after a late season promotion to San Jose.  The Giants promoted him aggressively to AA in 2014 where he tore up the Eastern League, a place that has seen a lot of Giants hitting prospects hit the wall, hitting for average and gap power.  When things started to look desperate late in the season for the Giants, he got left off the bus to Akron and thought he had been traded.  Instead, he got the call to San Francisco(I think they were in New York at the time.  Wow!  Akron vs New York!).  Duffy stuck on the MLB active roster through the end of the season and into the playoffs.  He settled into a mainly PH role where he consistently delivered hits off the bench, one of the most difficult roles for any hitter in all of baseball.

So where does that leave Matt Duffy as we round to corner and head into 2015?  I think it is fairly safe to say at this point that the kid can hit.  The question now is where is he going to play?  The Giants kept him at SS in Richmond, even moving Kelby Tomlinson to 2B to make room, but his naturally position seems to be 2B.  I saw him play one full game as SS when Brandon Crawford needed a rest.  Duffy made some nice plays at SS, but it was quite obvious that his arm is nowhere near what Crawford's or Adrianza's is.  I just don't think he would be able gun that ball to first from deep in the hole the way Crawford can.  If he can't make the throws from the hole at SS, he probably is not going to be making throws from behind 3B that Sandoval routinely made either.  Maybe he could do other things well to make up for that deficit, but I think his only potential starting position is 2B.

Given the numbers game that will confront him in the spring, I see Duffy's most likely destination to start the 2015 season as AAA Sacramento.  I can see him becoming a valuable utility IF in the future or a starting 2B for some MLB team, maybe not the Giants, unless Panik somehow loses his grip on the position, but what a joy it has been to witness his rise through the Giants minor league system then get to play in a World Series and contribute to a championship!

23 comments:

  1. I think he ends up being traded, perhaps part of the Zobrist deal if it ever happens. I don't see how he fits in long term with the Giants and I am not as sold on how his bat will play at the MLB level. Reminds me a bit of Frandsen, who's carved out a nice little career but someone who is not a key component.

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  2. It was great fun to watch him and Panik after they arrived.
    I would love to see Duffy work with a nutritionist and work out person, to see if he can increase his weight and body mass and improve his overall strength.
    I wonder if we see Panik playing some 3rd in spring training?

    Richard in Winnipeg

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    1. If you saw pictures of Duffy's dad in the stands on TV, you would not be optimistic about him ever putting on weight.

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    2. I do not see Panik playing any 3B. McGehee played something like 160 games last year. There is still Arias and I think Adrianza would be more likely to slide over to 3B in a pinch than Panik.

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    3. Me bad Doc, I completely forgot about McGehee.

      Richard in Winnipeg, maybe it is the minus 35 temperature here in Winterpeg!

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    4. I know what we are having in California would be a heat wave in Winnepeg, but man, with that 30-40 MPH wind on Christmas Day, it FELT like -35!

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    5. Brrr....they don't call it "Winterpeg" for nuthin...

      Nice write-ups and posts to usher in the New Year!

      NWGiantsFan
      DtF!!!

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  3. I was just about to mention that Duffy reminds me of Frandsen as well! I think Duffy has a chance to stick as a supersub so the Giants should give him some time in the OF this spring. He also has decent speed, one thing the Giants often seem to lack. Eventually Duffy could develop into a lesser version of the player they are rumored to be seeking, Zobrist, so I also agree with Anon that he could be part of a trade package to the Rays.

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  4. I agree he's not going to be the 3B of the future, or Crawford's replacement as his arm just doesn't cut the mustard and that AAA is where he likely lands for 2015 unless gets traded sometime in the next year. It's kind of shame for him that Panik did so well last year.

    But I think there's a good chance that he'll get the call to the 40-man spend some time as a utility infielder. He may also get called-up if Panik gets hurt. So I think there is a good chance he gets some time.

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    1. I should really drink more coffee before I post... I'm repeating myself in my own post... Sigh...

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    2. Hey, it's OK. I agree. Timing is everything. Panik goes 2 more weeks without hitting, Duffy gets his chance to start at 2B. No telling what might have happened! Now Panik has a death grip on the position that is now his to lose, and he'll probably have quite a bit of rope at that.

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  5. Nice UTI infield piece.Maybe starter in '15.Nice bat off the bench.Needs one more year to add strenth in the weight room.Susac, and Duffy give us great depth.

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  6. There is an old baseball saying
    "If you can hit, you don't sit"
    Matt Duffy can hit even on the big stage of playoffs and World Series

    I see him as being the new arias
    Backup infielder and top pinch hitter

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  7. agree with giantsjuliea, this kid did a superb job since his callup and project his 2015 start in Sacramento only to get regular playing time until midseason then he'll continue his utility/ph role ... I don't see him traded to Rays as they have multiples at SS and 2nd

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  8. Great prospect. What a fun year following the Richmond box scores. This kid already has one batting title! Perhaps the PCL is next.

    I can also see him and Crick headed to Tampa if Sabean has the gall to pull the trigger.

    -Ryan from the hills

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    1. I can see Duffy being traded.But,not Crick.

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  9. I sincerely hope the Giants don't trade Duffy. I think he can have a great career, although I'm not yet sure what role he will play. I would love to see him do it with the Giants, the organization that gave him a shot. And don't sleep on his ability to develop some power, even if he doesn't put on a ton of weight... Maybe my favorite prospect in the system, but I also know the kind of person he is. I truly believe he'll work his butt off to be a valuable big leaguer for many years.

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    1. By the way - big kudos to DrB and Shankbone for identifying the Duffman as a major sleeper in this system. The good majority of the fanbase was scratching its head when the Giants called him up from Richmond, but not around here. Pretty cool to hang around with such a knowledgable, positive-thinking group of bloggers/commenters here. I consider myself very lucky.

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    2. Welll said CC.

      NWGiantsFan
      DtF!!!

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  10. Hey Covechatter,

    I seldom comment because everyone else on DrB's great blog have so much more knowledge of what's going re Giant baseball. I'm just an old softy who has loved the Giants thru thick & thin.

    But you're right on re Matt Duffy. Matt Duffy is a bona-fide ballplayer. Watching him jump all over his brief chance at the show proves it to me . He can play. Reminds me of Dick Groat, Chris Spier, and so many more big leaders who defied the standard.

    Let's hope he's with us for years to come. He'll be fun to watch. He's a winner.
    Paydirt
    Silver City NV

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    1. A lot of folks are suggesting a Duffy trade as he seems blocked at a couple positions, but I don't think you can have too many Panik, Duffy type players on a team. They'll never steal the headlines or win the awards, but they've already shown their ability to affect a pennant race. They're gamers, dirt-bags, ballplayers, winners. And they're very fun to watch. Duffy has flown under the radar the whole way. I expect that trend, and his success, to continue.

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  11. I would've traded him and Crick for Upton. He's a 2B which is easy to find in the market or draft. Unless he adds OF to his profile or hits for some power, he's blocked by Panik and Crawford. That said I love the player, just thinking he'd be better as a trade chip. Unless Panik craters which IS possible.

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    1. Upton is an expensive 1 year rental who hates hitting in AT&T Park. Let him see how much he likes hitting in Petco instead.

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