Round 14, Pick 427
Name: Matthew Duce
Age: 21 (5/2/1996)
HT/WT: 5’11” 190 lbs
Matt Duce, Jr., Dallas Baptist — Although Dallas Baptist is not the toughest place to hit, the smallish Duce (c. 5′-10″, 182) put together a strong season in part-time play in 2016, featuring solid power (9.5% XBH, .187 ISO) and an excellent K/BB ratio built on OK contact (13% K) and good patience (14% BB). He was also named an all-conference defender despite only playing in 46 games, and starting 41, of the team’s 63. Duce has also built a strong summer league track record: he displayed quality power and patience in the competitive Northwoods league after his Freshman season, and last year produced a .389 OBP and .181 ISO in 90 PA in Cape Cod, although his 24 K and resulting .236 average weren’t ideal. 2017, on the other hand, hasn’t been as encouraging so far. At bat, his slash stats have improved a bit but the underlying abilities haven’t, as his power is essentially the same and both elements of his K/BB have deteriorated. In the field, his CS% is down from 33% to 27%, although that’s only in 11 tries; he’s also spent about half his time at 3B, which may say good things about his athletic ability or bad things about his catcher defense, depending on how you want to interpret it. His strong 2016, offensive skills, and summer league profile, though, make him a quality draft sleeper in any case.
Texas State Report Baseball America
Matt Duce, C, Dallas Baptist
Duce may be a better choice as a senior sign next year, but he is a solid catch-and-throw catcher with questions about his offensive potential.
Like the Mets pick of DBU C Matt Duce in the 14th round.
— JJ Cooper (@jjcoop36) June 14, 2017
One of the top prospects in the conference, an athletic catcher. May be a steal at 14th round.
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