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Saturday, March 6, 2021

Darrin Duffy proved capable over seven pro seasons; Made AAA, missed bigs


The single-A Madison Muskies saw future major leaguer Walt Weiss move up in 1986. Taking his place was shortstop Darrin Duffy, The Wisconsin State Journal wrote.

Duffy then went out and picked up hits in his first 15 games with the club and ultimately amassed a .304 batting average over 35 games there. 

"Anytime you lose a player like Walt you're going to worry, but I didn't worry too long," Madison manager Jim Nettles told The State Journal. "Duffy has been a very capable replacement. Oakland said he was good defensively, but his hitting has been somewhat of a surprise."

Duffy went on to see time in seven professional seasons. He ultimately made AAA over 31 contests, but he never saw the majors.

Duffy's career began that year in 1986, taken by the Athletics in the third round of the draft out of Grand Canyon University.

At Grand Canyon, Duffy became a top-25 prospect based largely on his throwing arm. He spoke to The Arizona Republic in May 1986 about working on his game, and his patience with umpires.

"It's been my biggest problem," Duffy told The Republic. "I know I'm outspoken, and I found myself having to control it a lot. But (the coaches) have settled me down to where I've very much learned to control it."

Duffy played his first season with the Athletics between single-A Madison and Modesto, as well as short-season Medford. He hit .264 overall in 69 games.

He returned to Madison and saw 38 games at AA Huntsville for 1987, then played 1988 between Huntsville and Modesto.

That August in 1988, he spoke to The Oakdale Leader about life in the minors and injuries. He lost part of his 1987 campaign to a hip injury.

"I lost a little range and speed," Duffy told The Leader. "It's always in the back of my mind that I might re-injure it, so I've been babying it. I want to work on it in the off-season because you can't afford to have any injuries."

Duffy moved to the Cubs system and single-A Winston-Salem for 1989, then to AA Charlotte in 1990. He hit .241 in 108 games there.

His 1991 season was limited to eight games at single-A Peoria. He then returned to see 31 games at AAA Iowa in 1992. He hit .211 there. He also saw 17 games back at Charlotte. That season in 1992 marked his last as a pro.

1990 Minor League Tally
Players/Coaches Featured:3,594
Made the Majors:1,244-34.6%
Never Made Majors:2,350-65.4%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:517
10+ Seasons in the Minors:305

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