Duplantier, Smith among Top 100 Prospects

January 26th, 2018

Jon Duplantier and Pavin Smith keep progressing, and not only are they the headliners of the D-backs' farm system, they're among the top prospects in all of baseball.
Duplantier and Smith are Arizona's representatives in MLB Pipeline's 2018 Top 100 Prospects list, which was unveiled Saturday night on MLB Network. The 23-year-old right-hander Duplantier ranks as MLB's No. 73 prospect. The 21-year-old first baseman Smith comes in at No. 91 overall.
• MLB Pipeline's 2018 Top 100 Prospects list
:: Complete 2018 Top Prospects coverage ::
The annual ranking of MLB's Top 100 prospects is assembled by MLB Pipeline's Jim Callis, Jonathan Mayo and Mike Rosenbaum, who compile input from industry sources, including scouts and scouting directors. It is based on analysis of players' skill sets, upsides, proximity to the Majors and potential immediate impact to their teams. Only players with rookie status entering the 2018 season are eligible for the list. Players who were at least 25 years old when they signed and played in leagues deemed to be professional (Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Cuba) are not eligible.
The D-backs drafted Duplantier in the third round in 2016, and he continues to ascend the prospect rankings while dominating in the Minor Leagues. Duplantier has moved up more than 20 spots on the Top 100 list, after being rated MLB's 96th overall prospect in 2017.

The 6-foot-4 righty was stellar last year after elbow soreness shut him down in 2016. With Class A Kane County and Class A Advanced Visalia, Duplantier went a combined 12-3 with a 1.39 ERA and 165 strikeouts in 136 innings. He was named to the All-Star Futures Game.
Duplantier combines a sinking fastball that can reach the mid-90s with a power curve and a changeup, and he even added a slider to his repertoire in 2017. His athleticism, stuff and command give him a frontline starter ceiling.
Smith was the seventh overall pick in last year's Draft, and he rates as one of the top first-base prospects in the game. The D-backs are excited about how Smith has developed in his first half-season in the Minors.

The 6-foot-2 left-handed hitter has an advanced approach at the plate, and he showed it off in his professional debut in 2017. Smith hit .318/.401/.415 over 51 games at Class A Short Season Hillsboro, good for an .816 OPS. He didn't hit his first home run until the end of the postseason, but the power could still come.
Smith can drive the ball to all fields, and he rarely swings and misses -- he walked more times (27) than he struck out (24) in '17. Arizona also likes his play at first base, where he has good footwork, soft hands and a strong arm.