Twins prospect with 101 mph fastball strikes out 14 batters

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Jhoan Duran

Duran, shown here during a 2018 game with the Cedar Rapids Kernels.

Remember the name: Jhoan Duran. 

Most fans haven't heard of the 21-year-old right-handed Twins pitching prospect, but he's got a rocket launcher for an arm. He put it to good use on Sunday during a game with the Fort Myers Miracle. 

Duran struck out 14 batters in six innings and allowed just one earned run on one hit. In case you're new to this whole baseball thing, there are three outs per inning and he got a total of 18 outs, 14 of them of strikeouts. That's crazy stuff. 

How'd he do it? With a 100 mph fastball and a knee-buckling curve. 

According to Miracle play-by-play announcer Marshall Kelner, Duran hit triple digits with four pitches in the first inning. His hardest pitch was clocked at 101 mph. 

The Twins acquired Duran from the Diamondbacks in the trade last summer that sent Eduardo Escobar to Arizona. Escobar is having a fantastic season for Arizona, but Duran is Minnesota's second-best pitching prospect, according to MLB Pipeline

"Duran has an exciting repertoire that points to a future in a big league rotation. He relies heavily on two distinct fastballs, a four-seamer that sits at 94-96 mph and touches 98 mph and a two-seamer that's a cross between a sinker and a splitter, thrown 90-93 miph, that misses a ton of bats and drives his strikeout rate. He can spin a curveball, flashing a plus breaking ball, and it's a point of focus for him in 2019. His changeup still needs work, but it has the chance to be an average pitch eventually. He's continued to refine his delivery and improve his command and control.

"There's still more in the tank for the 6-foot-5 Duran and he could make a big leap up prospect lists as he moves up another level in 2019. He could be the next big high ceiling arm in the Twins system after Brusdar Graterol."

It's also refreshing to hear about a flame-throwing prospect after news broke over the weekend that Minnesota's No. 1 pitching prospect, Brusdar Graterol, has been placed on the injured list with a shoulder problem. 

"There's been a big focus on delivery," Duran said, via the Miracle website. "I feel like I'm using my lower half a lot better and I'm more in sync."

He added that "everything is falling into place, because of the mentality of getting stuff done and not focusing on results."

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