The Arizona Diamondbacks have acquired RHP Frank Duncan from the Pittsburgh Pirates for INF Phil Gosselin, as announced by D-backs Executive Vice President & General Manager Mike Hazen. Duncan, 25, will be a non-roster invitee to Major League camp.
He appeared in 27 games (22 starts) between AA Altoona and AAA Indianapolis last season and went 12-8 with a 2.34 ERA (36 ER in 138.2 IP), .247 opponents average and 116 strikeouts. In his 22 starts, he was 10-7 with a 2.47 ERA (34 ER in 123.2 IP), .252 opponents average and 98 strikeouts. Overall, he held righties to a .214 average (67-for-313) with 84 strikeouts. The 6’4”, 215-pounder spent 2015 at High-A Bradenton and 2014 at Short-Season A Jamestown. Over 3 seasons in the Pirates system, he is 24-21 with a 3.42 ERA (135 ER in 355.2 IP) and 276 strikeouts in 68 games (61 starts). He was the Pirates’ 13th-round pick in the 2014 draft out of the University of Kansas.
It seems like quite a decent deal for the Diamondbacks, with Duncan being described in more than one place as a sleeper. In December, John Sickels ranked him at #19 on the Pirates’ top 20, saying “He doesn’t burn radar guns, featuring a low-90s fastball, but he can mix in an effective curveball and change-up, throws strikes, and picks up a lot of grounders. Sleeper prospect who could surprise along Chris Heston or Matt Shoemaker lines.” This interview with Duncan, from just a few days ago, confirms he has been developing his sinkerball, and also discusses a bunch of other stuff, such as what he hopes to get out of spring training - now in Arizona, rather than Florida!
It also means a farewell to Gosselin, of course, who came to Arizona from Atlanta in the Touki Toussaint trade/Bronson Arroyo dump. I was a bit surprised to realize Gosselin appeared in 122 games last season for the Diamondbacks - more than Chris Owings. However, those were almost all off the bench, Phil only starting 33 times. He did end his time with Arizona on a high, getting the last knock of the 2016 season for us. That is shown below: his walk-off hit with two outs in the bottom of the ninth - as a PH, naturally - against the Padres in the final game of the season on October 2, which lifted us above San Diego and out of the NL West cellar.