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Former top Yankees prospect Eric Duncan retires to coach at Seton Hall

Sep 20, 2012, 1:18 PM EDT

eric duncan card

Not so long ago Eric Duncan was the Yankees’ third baseman of the future, as the 2003 first-round pick ranked as the game’s 36th-best prospect in 2005 according to Baseball America and then cracked the top 100 again in 2006.

Shortly after that it turned out he couldn’t play third base particularly well and then eventually it turned out he couldn’t hit all that well either. And now at age 27–with 10 seasons in the minors and not a single at-bat in the majors–Duncan is retiring to take a job as a volunteer assistant coach at Seton Hall.

Duncan, who went to Seton Hall Prep for high school in New Jersey, played this season at Double-A in the Royals’ farm system, hitting .267 with four homers and a .688 OPS in 52 games.

  1. willclarkgameface - Sep 20, 2012 at 1:35 PM

    I can’t even imagine what it’s like for these lifer minor leaguers. It’s a bummer and hopefully he’ll be able to pass along some good information to young players.

    • stlouis1baseball - Sep 20, 2012 at 2:02 PM

      No doubt Will. It’s gotta’ be tough. Especially after laboring for 10 years.
      But these dudes are quality baseball players. Even the low Minors guys.
      That’s why I shake my head when people state “they couldn’t hit very well.”
      A more accurate assessment would be “they couldn’t hit very well at the professional level.”
      They also tend to be good coach’s. Additionally, with guys this young they tend to make very good money playing competitive Softball even on a part time basis. I know several of them.
      I have a few on the competitive travel team I play on.
      The Dudes couldn’t get past AA or AAA but can still hit a Softball 350′ – 400′ and play elite defense.
      We got one dude who plays left/left center for us and the ball literally whistles every time he throws it to me at 2nd Base from the OF. Dude has a cannon and hits frozen ropes.
      He just couldn’t make it past AAA.

  2. jolink653 - Sep 20, 2012 at 1:53 PM

    I went to high school with this kid…It’s a real shame he never made it to the majors because I remember the scouts would come out in packs every game to see him play and big things were projected for him but once the Yankees got A-Rod that kinda put a brick wall up in terms of Duncan being the future 3B and it seemed like once he got to Double-A he just couldn’t hit anymore

  3. yankeesgameday - Sep 20, 2012 at 2:14 PM

    I wish Duncan the best of luck. Maybe a career as a coach or manager is in the future. Just look at Don Zimmer, he’s never had a paycheck that wasn’t baseball related in his entire life. Maybe Duncan will be able to say the same one day.

    And I don’t mean to hijack this thread, but how come no writers around here did a post about Ichiro’s day yesterday? Double header day, he for a 7-8 with 4 stolen bases in the second game and hits the game winning single for his 7th hit in the bottom of the 8th.

    If someone in the NL Central did that there would be old faithful, yosemite geyser level gushing around here. But no one bothers to mention Ichiro even in passing?

    • stlouis1baseball - Sep 20, 2012 at 2:27 PM

      “if someone in the NL Central did that there would be old faithful, yosemite geyser level gushing around here.”
      Hahaha! You can’t be serious! I missed Kiwi’s (***) indicating you were using Sarcasm.
      But that statement is so funny I just know you were being sarcastic.

      I will help you with your Yankee’s love. After all…I can certainly understand your withdrawals.***
      There hasn’t been a Yankee’s article for at least 15 – 20 minutes or so.***

      http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/49097051/ns/sports-baseball/

  4. mybrunoblog - Sep 20, 2012 at 4:02 PM

    Just goes to remind us how hard it is to each the big leagues. Duncan was a very talented player who never really sniffed the bigs. Hope he has success in coaching. I hear there might be an opening for a manager at Salem next year. You think he could make it to the show as a manager?

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