D-backs honor prospects Duplantier, Cron

Duo named system's Minor League Pitcher, Player of the Year

Jon Duplantier allowed two homers and struck out 87 over 63 1/3 innings in the California League. (Ben Sandstrom/MiLB.com)

By Josh Jackson / MiLB.com | September 26, 2017 6:54 PM

Jon Duplantier collected his second postseason award on Tuesday, but it may be just the beginning of the honors bestowed on the right-hander for his remarkable 2017 campaign.

The D-backs named the 2016 third-round pick their Minor League Pitcher of the Year, tabbing slugger Kevin Cron as their Minor League Player of the Year.

Duplantier -- the D-backs' top pitching prospect -- went 6-1 with a 1.24 ERA in 13 games, including 12 starts, in the Class A Midwest League before going 6-2 with a 1.56 ERA in 12 starts in the Class A Advanced California League. His 1.39 overall ERA led all Minor Leaguers and he recorded 165 strikeouts over 136 innings while holding opponents to a .192 batting average.

On Sept. 7, MLBPipeline.com named the 23-year-old Rice University product its Pitcher of the Year. He also was selected to the Midwest League All-Star Game and the All-Star Futures Game.

"Besides having four plus pitches, he's got a great demeanor and a great mound presence," Visalia pitching coach Jeff Bajenaru told MiLB.com in August. "Whenever a runner reaches base, he tells himself this runner is not scoring. And that's really impressive."

Cron, a 24-year-old first baseman, was named Southern League MVP after leading the circuit in several offensive categories, including homers (25), extra-base hits (60) and RBIs (91). He batted .283/.357/.497.

Cron named Southern League MVP

This year marked a second chance at Double-A for the 2014 14th-round pick. After swatting 26 homers and hitting .222 in 2016, the younger brother of Angels first baseman C.J. Cron dramatically improved his consistency without losing power. In addition to his 25 dingers, he ranked second in the league with 35 doubles, 15 more than he hit last season.

Josh Jackson is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @JoshJacksonMiLB. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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