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Double-A Transition Monitor

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Eric Duncan in high school

Double-A Transition Monitor: Eric Duncan

Eric Duncan, 3B, New York Yankees
So, is Eric Duncan a top prospect or isn't he? His numbers this year for Double-A Trenton aren't especially wonderful on the surface: .238 batting average, .330 OBP, .416 SLG. He does have 18 homers, but just 13 doubles, helping keep his total SLG rather low for a guy with 18 homers. He's drawn 56 walks, helping his OBP, but has struck out 112 times in 113 games. His defense at third base remains erratic, and there is still mixed opinion about whether or not he will remain at the hot corner in the long run. If he has to move to first base, he'll have to hit better than this. His current numbers are equivalent to about .210/.300/.385 at the Major League level. Compared to 2004, he's shown little actual skill growth.
The flip side is his age: he is still just 20. If he had accepted his scholarship to Louisiana State rather than signing with the Yankees, he'd still be considered a possible first-round pick heading into the 2006 draft. Given a normal growth curve, he still has a good chance to be a fine player. But it is not a SURE thing by any means, and he probably won't be in a Top 50 prospect list at the end of the year. If I were the Yankees, I would strongly consider having him repeat Double-A in '06.