It’s Time to Get Excited and Talk About Jarren Duran

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Red Sox outfield prospect Jarren Duran has generated some buzz this spring for the Red Sox.  He is participating in his first big league camp just a year and half since being drafted by the Red Sox in the seventh round out of Cal State Long Beach. 

Photo courtesy of bostonherald.com
The 23-year-old has shown some leather in the outfield, speed on the base paths, and some power at the plate.  He has a triple and a home run in a short stint this spring for the Red Sox.  Plain and simple - Duran can play. 

Last season, in 50 games at Single-A Salem he hit .387 and had a .998 OPS.  Duran is not known for his power at the plate, but this spring has shown he can drive the ball if he finds a pitch he likes at the plate.  Duran was a bright spot in the Red Sox system last season, a system that has been ranked towards the bottom of the league the last few years. 

His time at Double-A Portland didn’t exactly go to plan, in fact he suffered mightily.  Duran, who lit the lower parts of the system on fire, wasn’t able to get that to translate to Portland.  In his first three weeks at Double-A, he only hit .192 and struggled to get an extra-base hit for 15 straight games. 

Players within the Red Sox system were there to support Duran and help him through his struggles. 

Tommy Joseph, who is in big league camp this year, was there to lend support to Duran, according to an article in The Athletic.  “You watch kids go through times that are frustrating in this game.  It can be very emotional, if we channel those emotions and get them going in the right way, that’s what you want” said Joseph. 

Shop for officially licensed MLB T-shirts from Nike, Majestic and more at Shop.MLB.com“The case with Duran,” noted Joseph, “was [Duran] was just trying to be Superman every day on every play.”

This spring it looks like he is locked in at the plate and in the field embracing the moment. 

He will again likely start the season at Portland for the Sea Dogs.  Duran has already started to impress more people making me wonder; could his time in Portland be short? 

The Red Sox have a key player part of their current outfield for the Red Sox who is a free agent at the end of the season. 

Could Duran be the replacement in center field for Jackie Bradley Jr.? 

I wouldn’t rule it out, if Duran goes on to have a season similar to last year he could play his way to Triple-A Pawtucket and even the Red Sox before the end of the season.  The club has promoted Andrew Benintendi, Yoan Moncada and Rafael Devers from Double-A on to the Major League roster in the past. 

“Honestly, I don’t even look at that,” Duran said to MassLive.  “That would be a big accomplishment to be on the 40-man, but I’m just here to do my job.  I’m in Double A right now, so that’s where I’m going to be.  I’m not going to think about, ‘I need to get to the show or I need to get to Triple A.’  No, wherever they put me, that’s where I’m going to go.  I’m going to focus on Double A if I’m in Double A.  If I’m in Triple A, I’m going to focus on Triple A.”

Duran would be a cheaper alternative for the Red Sox.  I say that with the respect of being able to take the Bradley Jr. money and invest it elsewhere in the roster. 

Duran will need another full season in the minors.  I’d like to see him respond better to Double-A Portland before truly saying he’s a full fledged option for center field in the event the Red Sox move on from Bradley Jr. 

“I don’t really like looking at that because at the end of the day, Jackie is my teammate,” Duran said to MLB.com.  “I don’t want to wish anything on him. I hope he stays here for more years to come and dominates the outfield some more.  That’s what I wish on people.  My time will come.  If it happens, it happens.  If it doesn’t, then it doesn’t, I had a fun ride.  But I really hope Jackie stays and continues to do what he does, because he’s one of the best outfielders.”

So far this spring, Duran has been one of the bright spots at Sox camp.  Red Sox Nation might have a new star in the very near future.  According to MLB Pipeline, Duran is ranked as the Red Sox second best outfield prospect in the system behind Gilberto Jimenez.  If Duran can continue and develop his skills this season in the minors, he will position himself in the conversation as the newest member of the Red Sox outfield.

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Boston Sports Syndicate: It’s Time to Get Excited and Talk About Jarren Duran
It’s Time to Get Excited and Talk About Jarren Duran
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