Jarren Duran is one of the top prospects in the Boston Red Sox system. He shouldn’t stay a prospect though, as he impacts the Major League team in 2020.
The Boston Red Sox struck absolute gold when they drafted outfielder Jarren Duran in the seventh round of the 2018 MLB Draft.
Since being drafted, Duran has been absolutely ridiculous. He slashed .357/.394/.516 with 24 steals and 52 runs scored in just 67 games between Short-A and Full-A in 2018.
Then in 2019, the left-handed hitter slashed .387/.456/.543 in 50 games with Advanced-A.
He struggled in 82 games with Double-A (.250/.309/.325) though. Despite that, Duran still finished with a great overall slash line of .303/.367/.408. He added 90 runs scored and a ridiculous 46 steals as well.
Now, second base is probably the weakest position the Red Sox have. Catcher has the least depth, and first base is a little confusing.
However, Betts is likely gone, as even if the current trade is completely shut down, Boston is clearly intent on trading him. Martinez is a designated hitter and should not be a full-time outfielder. Bradley Jr. goes through extended periods of not being able to hit and Benintendi is almost as streaky.
After them, there isn’t really much outfield depth in the minors either. And the Red Sox haven’t re-signed Brock Holt yet, who would at least serve as a nice option on any given day.
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So you have to look a little deeper. Duran hasn’t played higher than Double-A. He’s getting a non-roster invitation to Spring Training this year though. So clearly the Red Sox realize he’s close and want to see what they’ve got in him.
It’s very unlikely that Boston will have Duran on the Opening Day roster. They’ll probably get an outfielder in return for Betts (even if it ends up being a deal with a team that isn’t the Los Angeles Dodgers).
However, they’ll need the depth. Duran will start in Double-A. I can tell you right now, he’ll hit. It’s not that surprising that the 23-year-old took some time to get acclimated to the new level last year. Double-A tends to be the level where all the top-basically-MLB-ready prospects are.
Even with the struggles, a .250 average isn’t miserable, and Duran showed a ton of flashes. Now with all that experience under his belt, he’ll likely go back to his dominating ways.
When that happens, the Red Sox will need to start considering getting him to the Majors. This is where that depth comes into play.
Here’s a list of outfielders in Triple-A and Double-A that the Red Sox would realistically call up to the Majors in 2020.
- Nick Longhi in Triple-A
- Jarren Duran in Double-A
That’s it, that’s the list. Rusney Castillo‘s not getting past Triple-A because of his contract, and no one else makes any sense to jump over those two.
Duran is an elite athlete. He has just absurd speed. The only player in the system that rivals him at the moment is Gilberto Jimenez. In a full season in the Majors, Duran will get at least 50 steals once. That’s just going to happen
He’s also great in the outfield, and although he’s seemed to make the permanent switch, could probably still pick up second base if needed. So at least defensively, Boston wouldn’t skip a beat.
There will likely never be all that much home run power, but he could still sneak over 10 in a season. The triples and doubles will come in hordes though.
Dude’s even got a fantastic arm sleeve. In fact, the only real weakness might be his social media game. He hasn’t tweeted since 2014 and only recently started using Instagram.
The bottom line is simple. Boston might be looking for a spark in 2020. They will need to do something that helps reassure the fans that they have a plan in place. Duran is one of their most exciting prospects, and he’s very close to being MLB-ready.
If the Red Sox are smart, they will make him a part of the plan in 2020. And if given the opportunity, Jarren Duran will make a serious impact on the Boston Red Sox immediately.