Red Sox Jarren Duran will be featured in MLB Futures Game

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 15: A detailed view of a batting helmet as the World Team plays the U.S. Team during the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game at Nationals Park on July 15, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 15: A detailed view of a batting helmet as the World Team plays the U.S. Team during the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game at Nationals Park on July 15, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

Boston Red Sox prospect outfielder Jarren Duran will be showcased in the upcoming MLB Futures Game on July 7th. What should we know about Jarren Duran?

Boston prospect Jarren Duran will be the only player in the Red Sox organization playing in the MLB Futures Game. 2019 marks a year of changes for the MLB Futures Game. The game will now follow an American League vs National League format and there will be a reduction of innings playing only seven.

The young 22-year-old was drafted by the Red Sox during the 7th round of the 2018 draft out of California State University Long Beach (2016-2018). Duran played second base and outfield. During 2017 he had a stint playing at Wareham Gatemen (a collegiate summer baseball team that is a part of the Cape Cod Baseball League).

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One of the things that impressed me most about Duran is his ability to keep his mind focused on the present. Long Beach State is known for its ability to produce major league infielders. MLB players that have come through Long Beach State include Jason Giambi, Chris Gomez, Bobby Crosby, Troy Tulowitzki, Evan Longoria, Danny Espinosa, Matt Duffy, Jeff McNeil, and Garrett Hampson. Coming from a school with such a rich history has placed obvious stress on Duran’s success in the minors. When asked about this earlier in May, he said

"“I don’t really try and look at (the history) because I don’t want to get ahead of myself, I just kind of want to be where my feet are, and that’s right here in High-A ball.”"

While playing in the Red Sox organization, he moved from second base to outfield. The move can be attributed to his speed and overall athleticism (as well as what was needed in the farm system at the time). Duran is definitely a kid we should all be watching out for.

However, his path into the majors may not be the easiest with this move. The outfield for the Red Sox is stacked with talent in Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Andrew Benintendi. Considering the recent injuries to Dustin Pedroia and Brock Holt one has to imagine that he may have had a greater chance of playing at Fenway sooner if they had kept him at second base.

During his 2 seasons in the minors, he has played 138 games accumulating a .346 BA, .401 OBP, and a .489 SLG. Over the span of 732.2 innings playing in centerfield, Duran has a .990 Fielding Percentage, 2.22 Range Factor per Game, 183 Putouts, 8 assists, and 2 errors. In 993.1 innings spent in the outfield, he has a .984 Fielding Percentage, 2.19 Range Factor per Game, 243 Putouts, 11 assists, and 4 errors.

Jarren has continued to work his way up the chain in Boston playing for the Lowell Spinners (level A-) and the Greenville Drive (level A) in 2018. During the 2019 season, he’s already played for the Salem Red Sox (level A+) and the Portland Sea Dogs (Level AA).

Duran has gained a few awards and honors in his short time in the league. He’s been named the Mid-Season All-Star, Player of the Week on May 19th, and the Car Player of the Month in May with the Salem Sox. In 2018 he was named the Organization All-Star in the American League and the Baseball America Short-Season All-Star with Lowell.

In the American League side of the Futures Game, Duran will be joined in the outfield by LA Angles Jo Adell, Cleveland Indians Daniel Johnson, Seattle Mariners Jarred Kelenic and White Sox Luis Robert. CBC Sports Katherine Acquavella names Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Wander Franco as the American League player to watch.

Duran (99) and fellow Red Sox prospect Triston Casas (98) have both found themselves on Baseball America’s updated top 100 prospects list. As SB Nation’s Matt Collins Duran is known to rely on line drives, knowledge of the strike zone, and his speedy legs to do damage. His speed grades his a 70 on the 20-to-80 scouting scale.

In many ways, Duran reminds me of Dustin Pedroia. Scouts were attracted to Duran for his speed, but they were concerned about his lack of power. Duran, like Pedroia, was a kid who never showed that he had a ton of power but often managed to get on base. Granted, in size, Duran towers over Pedroia coming in at 6’2’’ and 200 pounds. Duran explains his mentality as,

"“I’m just trying to do the little things. Line drives, ground balls, get on base for the big guys. I think I’m just going out there and having fun honestly. I don’t put too much pressure on myself. I just go out there and play the way I know how to play.”"

Salem manager Corey Wimberly notes that Duran hits the ball hard, he’s got speed to back him up, and he has an unwavering awareness of the strike zone. In his own words,

"“He hits the ball hard, man, and it doesn’t hurt that he’s one of the fastest guys in baseball as well. He barrels up a lot of balls, and he controls the strike zone really well and he’s aggressive. When he gets a pitch in the zone, he’s ready to hit it.”"

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What will the future hold for Duran… Could he be an answer to centerfield, assuming the Red Sox are willing to part ways with Jackie Bradley Jr? Could he present a great bargaining trade opportunity for the Sox to focus on improving their bullpen? The future will tell. For now, I’m excited to see how he performs on July 7th. Already, almost unexpectedly, quickly making his way up the ranks Jarren Duran is definitely a light in the dark tunnel that is the Red Sox farm system. He’s a player to keep an eye on.