Minors: Duffy almost ready for impact 

May, 5, 2011
Most scouts consider Mike Montgomery the No. 1 starting pitching prospect in the Kansas City Royals' organization, and that is my assessment as well. But some scouts have his teammate, Danny Duffy, as, at worst, "No. 1A." That was part of the discussion in the scout section of games this week at Triple-A Albuquerque, where Duffy and Montgomery pitched on back-to-back nights for the visiting Omaha Storm Chasers.

I profiled Montgomery in detail (with video) in an April 7 blog, and while he has battled intermittent control issues this season, he was topping out at 96 mph when I saw him Wednesday night and has been keeping the ball on the ground and in the yard in a tough pitching environment. Having already written about Montgomery, let's talk about Duffy, who actually has put up a better stat line thus far.

The 22-year-old lefty has a 2.08 ERA and a 33-to-6 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 26 innings this season, and I saw him rebound from a rough first two innings Tuesday night to right the ship and finish strong, striking out nine batters in six innings.