The 2020 regular season is almost upon us. So it’s time to talk about which Boston Red Sox prospects have big things in store for the upcoming campaign.
Welp, the 2020 season is off to a weird start. With the season delayed, we don’t know exactly what we’ll be getting in terms of games. However, at some point the season will start up for the Boston Red Sox and when it happens, there are a few things you can expect.
We’ve got Xander Bogaerts stealing hearts, and Rafael Devers looking like he’s 13. J.D. Martinez will be raking, and Jackie Bradley Jr. will make incredible defensive plays. Those are all certainties.
What else is becoming a certainty for 2020? … *McGruber voice* you ask?
How about 2020 being the Year of Jarren Duran?
Duran burst onto the scene back in 2018, after the Red Sox took him in the seventh round of the MLB Draft.
It’s safe to say, that season went pretty well for him. In 67 games between Short-A and Full-A, Duran slashed .357/.394/.516 with 24 steals and 52 runs scored.
Then last season, he slashed .303/.367/.408 in 132 games between Advanced-A and Double-A. He did so stealing 46 bases and scoring 90 runs.
Now he was making waves in Spring Training 2020. The left-handed hitter had a small sample size, but was still 4-for-12 (.333) with a run, a steal and an RBI.
It’s unlikely Duran will make the Opening Day roster, but he’s certainly improving his stock even more this Spring.
So whenever the year does start back up, the outfielder will be in an interesting spot. Smart money says he’s going to start the year in Double-A. How long will he be there though?
Let’s break it down.
Duran is the fastest player in the Red Sox system, maybe Gilberto Jimenez (more on him later in this series) is faster. But let’s just call them 1A and 1B for now.
With that speed, Duran has stolen 70 bases in 199 games. It doesn’t take a mathematician to figure out, that’s a lot of steals in a short amount of time. Things get even crazier though.
In 82 games with the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs, Duran “struggled”. I put that in quotes because it really wasn’t bad. He still hit .250 and scored 41 runs. For someone with barely 100 games in the minors prior to being called up, that’s pretty solid.
More importantly though, he stole 28 bases in that time, that’s a 55 steal pace for a full 162-game MLB season.
It’s not just speed with Duran though, he’s far from a one-trick pony.
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He came into the minors as a second baseman, so he’s got really good footwork. Moving to the outfield gives him a chance to use that speed and athleticism more though. So now that he’s getting comfortable, that glove is starting to really play in the outfield.
Oh, and as a career .322 hitter so far, it’s safe to say he can rake.
So the question is, why exactly will 2020 be the “Year of Jarren Duran“?
It’s simple. Look at the state of the Red Sox. They’ve traded Mookie Betts. Bradley Jr. is at the end of his contract and Andrew Benintendi is at a point in his career where he needs to prove who he is.
Do I need to keep going?
The only outfielder in the minors right now that might be a more viable option than Duran if the Red Sox need to make a move is Nick Longhi. Outside of that, it’s Duran being fast-tracked.
So 2020 will not be his year because he’s going to dominate. Don’t get me wrong, he will. The 23-year-old has had time to learn Double-A. Those video-game numbers might come back in full force. And if that happens, Boston will have some tough decisions ahead.
Right there’s the reason though. 2020 will be the “Year of Jarren Duran” because he’s going to truly come into the National spotlight.
Absolutely, a lot of Red Sox fans know who he is. Do they truly know him though? He certainly hasn’t gotten the hype a lot of other top prospects have, despite putting up almost fake numbers throughout the majority of his career.
2020 will be the year Duran becomes one of those prospects that fans are counting down the days for his arrival to Fenway. And when it happens, there will be that air of excitement that they felt with Betts, with Bogaerts and with Devers. And guess what, he’ll reward that excitement just like those three did before him.
2020 is set to be a big year for Jarren Duran. He is poised to put up great numbers again, and could see at least one promotion. It’s the attention he is going to gain that makes this such a massive year for him though.
Oh, and there’s that whole thing where there’s a pretty decent chance he sees the Majors in 2020. I mean, that could be considered part of a big year.