Feature: Duplantier, MLB Pipeline Pitcher of the Year
VISALIA – One of the best upcoming pitchers in the minor leagues can be found right here in Visalia. The Rawhides right handed pitcher Jon Duplantier was named Major League Baseball’s Pipeline Pitcher of the Year this past week.
A third-round selection for the Arizona Diamondback, Visalia’s big club, in 2016 out of Rice, Duplantier led all of Minor League Baseball (MiLB) with a 1.39 ERA during his first full season. Between starting the season with Class A Kane County and Class A-Advance Visalia Duplantier sported the second best mark in MiLB in the last 25 years, behind Justin Verlander’s, who now pitches for the Houston Astros, 1.29 ERA during the 2005 campaign. Overall, Duplantier finished with a 12-3 record in 24 starts and was third in MiLB with a .192 batting average against with a 12th 0.98 WHIP.
Duplantier was named to the Sirius/XM All-Star Future’s Game in Miami this past July. He was also MiLB.com’s Midwest League Player of the Month for May, and while playing for Kane County was a Mid-season All-star.
In 2016 Duplantier only pitched one inning during his pro debut, but began his 2017 campaign by going 20 and two-third innings without an earned run. That streak was broken on May 2, but his dominance continued only allowing one earned run in his first ten starts for Kane County.
On June 22 Duplantier was promoted to the Rawhide from Kane County and made an immediate impact with a 1.56 ERA in 12 starts for the Rawhide. During that stretch Duplantier had 87 strikouts in 63 and a third innings. In his last three starts he registered 14 consecutive scoreless innings and struck out 44 batters in his last five starts.
Duplantier missed the entire 2015 season at Rive due to a shoulder injury, but returned in 2016 and finished second in the NCAA with 148 strikeouts, and was named the Conference USA Pitcher of the Year.
Duplantier was Arizona’s eighth-ranked prospect entering 2017 by MLB Pipeline and was elevated to their second-ranked prospect in the mid-season update. Baseball America ranked Duplantier as Arizona’s number nine prospect at the beginning of the season.
After missing the playoffs the Rawhide are now gearing up for their 2018 campaign, which will be the 72nd at Recreation Park in Visalia.