Friday, June 5, 2009

The New Seal: Carlos Duncan

Carlos Duncan, the most recent player signed by the Seals, got his first start tonight since joining the team. The 31-year-old Duncan was released a week ago by the Calgary Vipers in spite of the fact that he was team MVP for two of the four full seasons that he spent in Cow Town. He was also hitting .316 with one home run at the time.

One of the reasons for his release is his durability, or lack thereof. Last season he missed 37 of 86 games with a knee injury and he was injured at the time he was let go by the Vipers.

Duncan is from the shortstop factory called San Pedro de Macoris in the Dominican Republic, but this versatile player has played two positions in the minors more often than he's played short. He has played 289 career games at third, 270 in the outfield, 91 at short and 82 and second base. He has even pitched in one minor-league game! Although the Vipers had been using him at third base, you might see Darrell Evans use him regularly at DH if the knee is an ongoing concern. If not, then Victoria could use him in a utility role.

Duncan fits the classic Dominican profile in that he's a free swinger with some pop in his bat. As the saying goes, "You can't walk off the island". He used to have some serious speed, but it's unclear how much remains. Duncan has stolen 296 bases in a dozen minor-league seasons, including 59 in 2005 with Calgary and 50 in 2001 with Rio Grande. He only stole two bases in his 196 AB in last year's injury plagued campaign.

He can definitely still hit. In his four seasons with Calgary he hit .319, .272, .350 and .337 while hitting a total of 55 homers. Let hope we see a bunch of baseballs flying off of Duncan's bat and onto Pembroke Street this summer.