Brian Duensing has gone through three levels of Minor League Baseball this season, and is currently in the starting rotation for the New Britain Rock Cats. Armed with a nice changeup, and a mid-to-high 80’s fastball, Duensing is now considered one of the top left-handed starting pitching prospects in the Twins organization. A 2005 third round draft choice, the former Nebraska Cornhusker has put himself in position to be considered a legitimate Major League prospect in 2007.
Duensing began the season with Beloit of the Midwest League, and quickly began making fast work of MWL hitters. A selection for the Midwest League All-Star Game, Duensing posted a 2-3 record for the Snappers, despite having a low 2.94 earned run average. He was promoted to Fort Myers in early-June, after being shelled in his last Midwest League start on June 3.
For the Miracle, Duensing became a key piece to the pitching staff. Some were surprised that he was promoted to Double-A ball, considering he lost five of his seven Florida State League starts. Though he posted only a 4.24 earned run average, he did show the ability to eat innings, tossing six or more frames in all but one of his starts.
After being ripped for seven runs in 1.1 innings of work against Tampa on July 12, Duensing once again got the call for a promotion, and moved into the starting rotation for the New Britain Rock Cats.
For New Britain, Duensing has really pitched quite well, putting up a 3.65 earned run average through seven starts. He has allowed more than three earned runs in only one of his starts so far for the Cats, and he has gone more than five innings in all but one start as well. During his start against Reading on August 20, a fellow Scout.com Publisher had this to say about Duensing’s stuff.
”Nice change-up and he disguises it well. What he doesn't disguise well is when he's reaching back to put a little extra on his fastball. He didn't seem to trust his fastball against the better hitters in the lineup. He was throwing Gary Burnham all change-ups and curves in his first at bat and fell behind 3-0. Then, he threw a fastball and Burnham buried it to deep center field. Likes to throw to first, but didn't seem to have a great move for a lefty. Settled in nicely after a shaky start. Threw generally in the mid 80s.”
For the season, Duensing is currently eighth in the organization with a 3.47 earned run average. He is also in the top ten in strikeouts (112), and innings pitched (147.2). He should be in the rotation to start the year in New Britain in 2007, but it is not out of the question that he could make his Major League debut next season.