After making a name for himself during the 2014 playoffs, Matt Duffy put together an excellent rookie season for the San Francisco Giants in 2015.
He hit an uninspired .253/.305/.289 in three collegiate seasons, tallying just 17 extra-base hits in 571 plate appearances during his time on campus, and a whopping 567 players were selected before him in that year’s draft class.
After an inauspicious pro debut, he hit .303/.389/.443 with nearly as many walks (52) as strikeouts (57) and 33 extra-base hits in 454 plate appearances between Single-A and High-A.
He followed that up by hitting .332/.398/.444 with 31 extra-base hits and 20 steals at Double-A in 2014, and that earned him a call-up to the majors on Aug. 1.
Filling a bench role over the final two months, he showed enough to land a spot on the postseason roster. He scored a pair of runs in October, including racing around from second base on a passed ball in Game 2 of the NLCS.
During the 2014-15 offseason, Pablo Sandoval signed with the Boston Red Sox and Casey McGehee was acquired to replace him at third base in an ill-advised trade that sent current Cincinnati Reds ace Luis Castillo the other way.
When McGehee fell flat, Duffy took over as the primary third baseman, and he ended up finishing second in NL Rookie of the Year voting.
The 24-year-old hit .295/.334/.428 with 28 doubles, 12 home runs and 77 RBI while racking up 4.7 WAR.
He was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays along with Lucius Fox and Michael Santos in exchange for left-hander Matt Moore at the 2016 trade deadline, and injuries have derailed his career in the years since.
While his time in San Francisco was brief, Duffy beat the odds as a late-round pick and made a major impact.
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