Red Sox 7th rounder Jarren Duran tripled twice in his pro debut. It’s all downhill from here, but it gives us an excuse to take a closer look.
The Boston Red Sox needed a strong draft to reboot a terrifyingly thin minor league farm system. They took a lot of risks on high upside power hitters, but grabbed a few other intriguing tools as well. One of the under the radar picks was Jarren Duran, a second baseman from Long Beach State in California. He was selected in the 7th round. While he doesn’t fit in with sluggers like first baseman Triston Casas or third baseman Nick Northcut, he does have blazing speed. And that speed was on display in his pro debut.
In five plate appearances out of the leadoff spot for the Lowell Spinners, Durran hit a double and two triples. That’s a 496 wRC+ for anyone trying to do the math at home. Or 396% better than league average. (One game samples are fun!) He also scored three times and drove in two more. While the 7th round isn’t the sexiest place to get drafted, there is some historical precedent for finding gems there. The most recent player to hit the 25 man roster out of the 7th round is reliever Ben Taylor. But if we go back a bit (or a lot) further, we find Wade Boggs in the 1976 draft. It’s unlikely that Durran has a career anywhere near as productive as Boggs, but we can dream.
Baseball America’s write up on Jarren Duran is encouraging. He has strong on base skills and game changing speed once he’s on first. He stole 17 bases in 19 attempts over 56 games this spring. BA goes on to say:
"“Duran stole 47 bases in his career and drove opponents crazy beating out routine ground balls for infield singles. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound lefthanded hitter explodes out of the batter’s box, posting 70-grade run times on the 20-to-80 scouting scale, and turns singles into doubles and doubles into triples.”"
The downside with Durran is that he has no power and doesn’t project to develop much. He also strikes out more than you’d like for a hitter without the threat of a dinger in his arsenal. But he’s patient enough to get away with it for now. He was projected to go early on day two, so the 7th round was a bit of a fall for him. Despite that, he agreed to sign for slot at $189,800.00. He will likely spend the rest of the summer in Lowell with an eye on joining the full season Salem Red Sox in 2019 if things go well.
Keep checking back for updates on the 2018 draft class. And let us know what you think of some of the top picks from this draft class, or if there’s anyone specific you’d like to see a write up of!