Samuel Deduno: Minnesota Twins' Ace Has Great Potential

By Caroline Ponessa
Debby Wong – USA Today Sports

While the Minnesota Twins are obviously not going to all of the sudden make a glorious run to the playoffs, getting pitcher Samuel Deduno back into the lineup could help the organization in the coming seasons.

Prior to being put on the disabled list due to soreness in his right shoulder on Aug. 30, Deduno posted a 3.83 ERA in 18 appearances. With eight wins and eight losses, Deduno is the only pitcher in the Minnesota bullpen without a losing record in more than eight games.

Acquired by the Twins in 2012 from the San Diego Padres after also previously spending time in the Colorado Rockies bullpen, Twins management has given the ball to Deduno in 184 more innings than the Padres and Rockies.

The Twins clearly have faith that Deduno can work out his control issues (he’s walked a staggering 94 batters in his two seasons for Minnesota). Though the Twinkies bullpen is obviously in no condition to be picky, management has repeatedly expressed confidence in Deduno’s abilities.

Deduno showed a glimpse of his All-Star potential with an extremely impressive run in the 2013 World Baseball Classic. In three starts (13 innings) for the Dominican Republic, the 30-year-old right-hander posted a 0.69 ERA with 17 strikeouts and allowed only five walks.

Deduno usually goes to his four-seam fastball and curveball, but his arsenal also includes a two-seam fastball, slider and change-up.

His four-seamer has the smallest amount of vertical break among all MLB starting pitchers since 2007, which gives him an impressive 6:1 ground ball:fly ball ratio. Deduno’s knuckleball-like four-seam fastball is incredibly difficult to get under and causes many batters to hit the ball down — an indispensable quality to the Twins’ struggling bullpen.

If Deduno’s potential is reached in the coming seasons, he will be a welcome asset to the Twins. Though the organization needs to begin seeking out dominant All-Star aces like former player Johan Santana, the Twins bullpen also should make internal improvements and Deduno presents a great capability of becoming a force on the mound in the future.

Caroline Ponessa is a Minnesota Twins writer for Follow her on Twitter @sweetCaro.

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