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2019 Mets draft profile: Antoine Duplantis

With their twelfth selection in the 2019 draft, the Mets selected Antoine Duplantis, an outfielder from Louisiana.

Born: Lafayette, Louisiana

Age: 22 (9/09/96)

Height/Weight: 5’11”/180 lbs.

Position: OF

Bats/Throws: L/L

School: Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge, Louisiana)

Antoine Duplantis comes from a family of athletes. His father was an All-SEC and All-American pole vaulter for LSU in the early-to-mid-1980s. His mother was a heptathlete and volleyball star at LSU in that same time period. His older brother also competed with LSU as a pole vaulter in the early-to-mid-2010s. His younger brother just joined LSU and will be joining their track-and-field program, while a younger sister will soon be joining LSU and will be competing athletically. Antoine excelled while playing at Lafayette High School down in Louisiana, winning All-State and All-District honors in his senior year by hitting .453 with six home runs and 27 stolen bases. Considered a prep prospect worthy of following, he went undrafted because of his strong commitment to LSU and attended college instead.

In his freshman season, Duplantis hit .327/.404/.419 in 66 games, stealing 13 bases in 21 attempts. He finished second in the SEC with 89 hits and finished fifth in the division with 5 triples. That summer, he played for the Harwich Mariners of the Cape Cod League and hit .268/.328/.313 in 29 games there. Returning to LSU for his sophomore season, Duplantis hit .316/.358/.400 in 71 games, finishing second in the SEC with 19 stolen bases and fourth with 90 base hits, and was a big reason the Tigers finished second in the NCAA World Series to the Florida Gators, hitting .333 with three doubles, one homer, and three steals in 16 postseason games. He returned to the Cape that summer, once again playing for the Harwich Mariners, and hit .265/.309/.441 in 23 games. He started all 66 games for LSU when he returned for his junior year and hit .328/.381/.443, stealing 19 bases. His performance got him drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 19th round of the 2018 MLB Draft, 583rd overall, but he elected to stay at LSU for one final season instead of signing with the Indians. In 56 games through NCAA Regionals, the 22-year-old hit .318/.370/.502.

At the plate, Duplantis has a short, simple stroke. He uses a very small stride and has a quick, balanced swing through the zone that produces a slight bit of lift. He has quick hands and excellent bat control, allowing him to get to most pitches in the zone and just outside of it. The approach hamstrings him a bit, as he generally puts the ball in play regardless if he is able to drive the ball or not, but when he is, he shows decent power, putting a jolt in balls down the gaps. His bat control and pitch recognition has also resulted in his being a tough strikeout. Despite being from a family of runners, Antoine is not particularly fast for a baseball player. He has fringe-average-to-average speed, having progressively gotten a bit slower as he’s filled in over the course of his four years in school. He does have a quick first step out of the box, though, making him a solid runner on the base paths, and has solid baserunner instincts.

Defensively, Antoine has the ability to play anywhere in the outfield. His arm is strong enough to play right field, and he is able to cover enough ground to play center. He reads the ball well off the bat, has a quick first step and plenty of closing speed once he gets going.