Duncan Yet to Find His Stroke in Pawtucket

by abournenesn

Aug 4, 2009

If you forgot, we actually scored something in return for that Julio Lugo guy last month. His name is Chris Duncan and he came to the organization with a pair of 20-plus homer seasons in the majors and a tremendous amount of potential.

Duncan's 2009 numbers were pretty bland prior to the trade. In fact, they were so weak that he was optioned down to Triple-A Memphis just hours before the trade from the Cardinals occurred. The 6-foot-5, 230-pounder was hitting just .227 with five dingers and 32 RBIs in 87 games played. Granted, the son of Cards pitching coach Dave Duncan was coming off a 2008 season that was cut short due to surgery but there's plenty of potential in his 28-year-old frame: He popped 43 home runs and drove in 113 RBIs in 217 games from 2006-2007. During that span, as a 25-year-old rookie in '06, he posted a whopping .589 slugging percentage and a .952 OPS in just 90 games.

Today, fans in Pawtucket are having trouble recognizing this behemoth of a man who was slugging his way onto fantasy rosters.

Since donning the PawSox uni 13 games ago, Duncan has notched just six hits, one of which was a home run — his lone extra-base hit thus far. The left fielder is hitting .140 with four RBIs and has struck out 12 times in 43 at bats.

"Those kinds of players can put a lot of stress on themselves," Manager Ron Johnson told projo.com of Duncan and Brian Anderson — Pawtucket's other recent acquisition. "Because they're coming over here, they're at the Triple-A level and you know what's going through their mind. I just try to get through to them that, 'Hey, you don't have to come over here and show the Red Sox in a week that you're the best thing since sliced bread because that doesn't work. Get your at-bats and get yourself going a little bit, and things will work themselves out."

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