Chad Jennings has got the story — big surprise there, the guy has been on top of it ever since the day he got hired — on Eric Duncan signing a minor league deal with the Atlanta Braves.
The former first round pick played a season and a half in Mercer County, hitting .235 with 19 home runs and 61 RBI in his only full season with the Thunder in 2005. He split the following year between Columbus and Trenton, getting sent down from Triple-A after never being able to get going there.
Turns out, he was never able to get going in Triple-A, period.
In the three years that followed, Duncan seemed to get worse. His average fell from .241 to .233 to a mind-boggling .204 in 2009. In 1,171 at-bats over his last three seasons in Scranton, he hit just 26 home runs and had just 145 RBI. His OPS of .527 last year was the worst of any player on the SWB Yankees who played in over 30 games.
The talent is there for Duncan — he was once the Arizona Fall League MVP, and you don’t become a first round pick out of luck — but he was just never able to put it all together. He’ll look for a fresh start in the Braves organization, and will most likely begin the season in Gwinnett.
Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com