School: Rice University; Class: Senior
Position: RHP; B/T: R/R
Height: 6-4; Weight: 225
Previously Drafted: N/A
Background: And another one bites the dust… Duplantier is just the latest – and certainly not the last – hard-throwing hurler chewed up and spit out by the Rice University arm-shredding machine. After a mostly positive freshman season in 2014 – he finished the year with a 2.29 ERA and 58 strikeouts in 59 innings, but also walked 38 – the 6-foot-4, 225-pound right-hander (not-so-shockingly) missed the entire 2015 season because…wait for it…an arm injury. Thankfully, he didn’t have to undergo the surgical knife to repair it.
Healthy – finally – this season Duplantier not only regained his previous form, his production has ascended towards college baseball’s best in 2016. Through his first 106.0 innings of work he’s fanned a mind-boggling 143 hitters, the second-best mark among all DI pitchers, and his strikeout rate (12.14 K/9) is the eighth highest total as well.
Projection: Personally, I would try and avoid hurlers coming out of Arm Shredder U. like the plague. Maybe it’s a personal bias, but there’s a seemingly high risk with arms that come through the school. Anyway, Duplantier – ignoring the fact that he missed the entire 2015 season – has been nothing short of dominant this year.
He’s ability to miss bats looks like a premium. And his control, which was well below-average as a freshman, looks to be no worse than solid two years later.
But, again, circling back to my first point: after not throwing a meaningful pitch in 2015, the coaching staff runs him out there for more nearly double his high in innings in season.
So…be careful, I guess.
Ceiling: 2.5-win player
Floor: 1.0-win player
Grade: First Round