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August 16, 2017 at 8:00 AM

Scouting Scratch: Nick Duron, Denyi Reyes and Yorvin Pantoja

LOWELL, Mass. -- Based on his statistics this season, Spinners’ right-hander Nick Duron may not seem like someone to watch, but that is far from the case. In 36 2/3 innings, the 21-year-old has 4.42 ERA and 1.25 WHIP with only 25 strikeouts compared to 13 walks. Duron’s development has been slow since he was drafted in the 31st round of the 2015 draft out of Clark College, a junior college in Vancouver, Washington. He had committed to  and signed for only $75,000. He threw 26 1/3 innings with the Gulf Coast League Red Sox after signing, striking out 28 batters while allowing just 5 runs on 20 hits and 5 walks, but then missed all of 2016 with an injury.

The first thing that stands out with Duron is his athleticism and frame. Duron’s only other scholarship offer out of high school was to play football at Western Oregon University, and he looks the part. He is listed at 6-foot-4, 190 pounds and is very muscular, but he hasn’t lost any of his football athleticism and has a very live arm. 

Duron throws from a three-quarters arm slot and starts with a wide base. His delivery is controlled with some effort including a stab behind and short, quick arm action forward. Duron’s arm is very quick, so much so that it often gets out of sync with the rest of his delivery. He has a tendency to miss to his glove side when his arm gets out ahead of his body, and he struggles to locate on the inner half of the plate to right-handed hitters. Given he only committed full time to baseball in 2015 this isn’t a surprise, but as a result his command and control suffer. 

Duron’s fastball sat 92-94 mph in the two outings scouted, topping out at 96 mph in one outing and 95 mph in the other. In the first outing, he showed a tick more velocity in the first inning, sitting 93-95 mph, but he held his velocity deeper into the second game, still sitting 92-94 mph in his fifth inning of work. Duron’s fastball is straight and lacks life. It doesn’t miss bats like you’d expect given the velocity, and he lacks feel for command, leading to a fair amount of contact. 

Duron’s secondary offerings include a slider and changeup. Both have shown potential, but are inconsistent. His slider worked at 83-88 mph over the two outings. At its best, the pitch is a power breaking ball with depth, and he showed the ability to bury it down and out of the zone on occasion. On the lower end of the velocity range, it was loose and lacked bite, and his release for the pitch varied. Duron showed some feel for his changeup as well, throwing it with deceptive arm speed at 83-85 mph in the second outing. He was willing to use it in any count, and the pitch showed drop at times. 

With the potential for at least three average pitches and a strong, athletic pitcher’s frame, Duron is an intriguing arm in a system that has been thinned out over the last few years. His development will be slow, and it could take him some time to figure things out, but if he does he could establish himself as one of the more intriguing right-handed arms in the system.


One of the more consistent arms for Lowell this season has been right-hander Denyi Reyes. Pitching out of the bullpen but in a “piggyback” role—pitching on a starter’s schedule and throwing longer outings than a typical reliever—in 46 innings, Reyes has a 1.57 ERA and 1.02 WHIP with 38 strikeouts and just 6 walks. Reyes’ control has been his trademark as a pro, as he has walked just 13 batters in 155 2/3 innings in his three season since signing out of the Dominican Republic in 2014.

Listed at 6-foot-4, 210 pounds, the 20-year-old Reyes has a solid pitcher’s frame with minimal remaining projection. He throws over the top with no wind up and a medium leg kick. He gets some deception by keeping his arm behind his body until late and gets good plane on his pitches. 

Reyes’ fastball sits 86-89 mph, topping out at 90 mph. The pitch will show sink on some occasions and cut on others. He compliments the pitch with a 81-83 mph changeup and 72-76 mph curveball. His curveball has long, 11-to-5 break, but he tends to slow his arm and cast the ball to the plate at times. 


Venezuelan left-hander Yorvin Pantoja has had his struggles this season with Lowell, putting up a 6.20 ERA and 1.57 WHIP in 40 2/3 innings. The 19-year-old looks taller than his listed 5-foot-11, 175 pounds and has a skinny frame with some projection. He’s a solid athlete and throws from a three-quarters arm slot with a short arm action. 

Pantoja features three pitches, though none project as better than average. His fastball works at 88-90 mph, topping out at 91 mph, with below-average command and control. His changeup is his best secondary, showing late drop and deceptive arm speed at its best. The pitch is inconsistent, but will flash average potential at 79-81 mph. Pantoja will also feature a curveball at 75-79 mph that is well below-average. He lacks feel for the pitch and it tends to roll to the plate with 1-to-7 shape. 

Photo credit: Nick Duron, Denyi Reyes and Yorvin Pantoja by Kelly O'Connor

Ian Cundall is Director of Scouting for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @IanCundall.