Royals' Assistant General Manager-Scouting & Player Development J.J. Picollo released the following statement to the media: "Danny informed us yesterday that his desire is to leave baseball at this time to reassess his life priorities. Should Danny decide in the future to return to the game, we will be happy at that time to discuss the possibility."
Bob Dutton from the Kansas City Star reported this morning that Duffy's decision appears unrelated to a recent left elbow strain that was expected to prevent him from pitching in games until mid-May. He was considered one of the more advanced pitching prospects in the Royals' farm system and was likely bound for Northwest Arkansas once he received medical clearance.
Prior to the season Duffy was ranked as the eighth-best prospect in the Royals' system by Baseball America, after posting a 9-3 record and a 2.98 ERA with Advanced Class-A Wilmington last season. He was 19-10 in 52 career minor league games and represented the Royals' organization at the 2009 All-Star Futures Game in St. Louis. He had also received an invite to the Major League camp this spring as a non-roster player.
A young pitcher taking a break from baseball is not without recent precedent in the Kansas City organization. Staff ace Zack Greinke also took time away from the game in 2006, when he walked away following his first complete season in the big leagues. After just over two months away from the game, Greinke came back to pitch for Double-A Wichita, returned to Kansas City that September, and last season won the American League Cy Young Award.
Duffy, from Carillo High School in Lompoc, Calif., was selected by the Royals in the third round of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft.
The Northwest Arkansas Naturals are the Double-A Texas League affiliate of the Kansas City Royals and play at state-of-the-art Arvest Ballpark, located in Springdale. The 2010 season begins on Thursday, April 8th. Visit our website, nwanaturals.com, for information on season tickets and ticket plans.