In honor of Duffy starting tonight in Game One of the Texas League playoffs, I thought I’d post about what I saw him do on August 2nd, his first AA start.
Danny Duffy: August 2, 2010
Northwest Arkansas Naturals
FB: Consistently 92-94, topped out at 98 after back-to-back homers.
Very good arm side run to his fastball.
First start in AA, probably a little juiced, needed to locate better
CURVE: 78-82, very good
Very sharp break, no quite 12-6, but fairly close. Has some tilt.
Will be a very effective pitch, hitter gave up on it early
Once he is 100%, that pitch will be devastating.
CHANGE: 82-86, tough to pick up
Arm side run, slight sink
This pitch is very good although he struggled with command slightly
MECHANICS: Simple. Fairly smooth. Gets on top of his front leg well. Does a very good job getting to a gathering point and not allowing his body to come forward until he is ready. Very loose arm. Mechanics will get better as he gets back into the groove.
Very strong front side.
Gets the ball out of his glove before his leg drive begins. This helps with timing.
PICKOFFS: I only saw a classic lefty move. Easy read, but doesn’t take his leg all the way up all the time. Varies between a slide step, knee-to-knee approach, and full lift.
FIELDING: Fielded one comebacker. Made the play easily. Did not lob the throw.
ATTITUDE/POISE: Went right after hitters early in the ball game. Not quite cocky, but full of confidence. You knew he was in charge out there. Very nice young man off the field.
Duffy was making his first start in double-A so I was very excited to see him throw. It was a very hot day and he did tire a little prematurely from what I could tell. He has a very nice element to his pitching and will be a very good player for the Royals in the future.
Danny went right at hitters with his fastball which is good to see. I know he’ll have better location as he gets back into the groove, but tonight he left some pitches in some very hittable spots missing locations. Duffy attempted to pitch inside and outside. The young Royals LHPs seem to be confident on the fastball in, which I like to see. Duffy will command the plate on both sides.
His curve is awesome. And his changeup is even better. Both are really hard to see out of his hand and will be above average pitches at the MLB level. I made an aggressive comparison to Barry Zito and I’m going to stick by that. The reason Zito has so much success is his use of the change up, and I see that same type of change up from Duffy. Duffy has an above average fastball and will have a curveball that is very similar to Zito’s I believe. I don’t want to compare them in terms of what their career will be, but in terms of the type of pitches and movement they have in their repertoire.
I think Duffy will have a very solid MLB career and if he doesn’t do well starting, he will definitely make it out of the bullpen. Duffy has 3 above average MLB pitches right now. I believe Duffy has ace potential.
You can read the original article I wrote on Duffy at Royals Review here. Also has pictures in the comments section there.