Red Sox hint at free agency plans for filling center field void
Red Sox center field prospect candidates
Outfield prospect Jarren Duran was impressive at the alternate site in Pawtucket this year but Bloom doesn’t appear to believe he’s ready for the big leagues. He pointed out that Duran’s 2019 performance when he reached Double-A wasn’t “particularly distinguished.” Duran hit .250 with a .634 OPS, 1 home run and 28 steals in 82 games at that level last year.
He’s a dangerous threat on the base paths and his blazing speed will be an asset in the outfield as well. Duran’s power began to emerge during his time at Pawtucket this year and it’s clear he’s making strides in that department.
Bloom warned that we shouldn’t put too much weight on the outcome of simulated games. Duran’s improvement is promising but hardly proof he’s ready for the major leagues. The Red Sox need to see him in real game action to determine where he’s at in his development.
Expect to see Duran start next season in Double-A, assuming there is a minor league season in 2021. A quick start should lead to an early promotion to Triple-A and he could be knocking on the door to the big leagues by the end of the season. That’s a best-case scenario and one that certainly takes him out of consideration for the majority of next year. A more realistic timeline might have the 24-year-old making his debut in Boston in the middle of the 2022 season.
That leaves the Red Sox in need of someone to hold the fort in the meantime. Marcus Wilson is the only true center fielder on the 40-man roster but he’s never played above Double-A and isn’t any closer to the majors than Duran.
Without a viable candidate on the roster to start in center field on Opening Day, the Red Sox will need to go hunting in free agency for a solution.