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D-backs’ Duplantier makes two lists of 2018’s top 100 MLB prospects

Arizona Diamondbacks and the U.S. Team pitcher Jon Duplantier throws during the All-Star Futures baseball game, Sunday, July 9, 2017, in Miami. The U.S. Team won 7-6. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

History shows that an MLB team’s talented farm system makes for a promising future.

The Arizona Diamondbacks can say they have at least a lone shining star among their prospects. Baseball America and ESPN’s Keith Law released their lists of the top 100 MLB prospects on Monday, and each included D-backs pitcher Jon Duplantier in their respective rankings.

The 23-year-old pitcher came in 64th on Law’s list and 73rd for Baseball America after putting together a strong 2017 campaign that saw him play in the MLB Futures Game at All-Star weekend and earn the MLB Pipeline Pitcher of the Year honor.

A 2016 third-round pick out of Rice, Duplantier went 12-3 with a 1.39 ERA last season, splitting time between Single-A Kane County and Single-A Visalia. He allowed just six home runs in 136.0 innings while striking out 165 and walking 42 batters.

Drafted with a shoulder injury hampering his stock, Duplantier will continue fighting off the stigma that Rice prospects struggle with injuries, writes Law.

The pick was a risk that looks to be paying off now, as Duplantier finished the year by dominating high-A with a four-pitch mix that features a new slider he uses to terrorize right-handed batters. Righties hit just .184/.235/.255 against him on the year. Even if we ignore his low-A tenure, since he was too experienced for the level, he punched out 37 percent of right-handers in the high-A Cal League. His changeup can show above-average as well, and so far he hasn’t had much of a platoon split in pro ball.

If the 6-foot-4 right-hander remains healthy, Law considers him topping out as a No. 3 starter.

For the Diamondbacks as an organization, the representation by Duplantier on the two prospects lists isn’t so promising of a sign viewed from a wider angle. That’s because the pitcher was the only Arizona prospect on Baseball America’s top-100 list.

Law only released his prospects ranked 51-100 on Monday.

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