Red Sox: Use the Jacoby Ellsbury roster model for prospect Jarren Duran
Red Sox should approach Duran debut as they did with Ellsbury
The Boston Red Sox need some baseball Red Bull – an energy drink that could ignite some action on the basepaths. They have good baserunners. Smart and competent baserunners. They have no igniter. The type that causes pitchers to double-think. There is no Tommy Harper and Jacoby Ellsbury. But there is a possible facsimile to Ellsbury in Worcester.
Ellsbury was a player I saw many times at Pawtucket in 2007. He was simply put running like a deer being chased by a pack of timber wolves. Ellsbury didn’t win the coveted International League stolen base title – missing out by one steal. And Ellsbury played in only 87 games.
All season long you could see how Ellsbury would disrupt when on the bases. Pitchers knew he was going to go. But there is more than just steals. You could see it on the bases when Ellsbury was rounding the bases forcing the defense. You could see it with gap hits that became automatic doubles.
In 2007, Ellsbury came up for a few games in July before being sent down. A replacement for the injured Coco Crisp. A return trip in mid-August and the final September call-up when Ellsbury hit, ran, and fielded during September. A jolt for the team that had the shakes for part of September. The end result of 2007 was a World Series ring. Circumstances were the initiator for his first two visits to Boston. The last was the deserved and necessary reward.
The similarities of Ellsbury and Jarren Duran are there. Both are left-handed hitters. Both play center field. Both burn on the basepaths. Both have questionable arms. Duran is like most prospects a work in progress. Good games or a good series can be followed by a downslide before recovery.
"The Red Sox are excited by the offensive and defensive gains he made at their alternate site last summer, which paid off with an MVP award in the Puerto Rican Winter League playoffs and a .400/.500/.640 line at the Caribbean Series.- MLB Prospect Watch"
Duran made his attention by moving up the prospect food chain in performances in the Puerto Rico Winter Leagues and the Caribbean Series. A great spring training had certainly added to the luster. The scouting report has that one most interesting item – plus plus speed. Duran has also added punch and is no longer a singles hitter relying on beating out infield hits. Even his glovework is becoming less questionable.
"Duran’s best offensive tool is his plus-plus speed, which helps him routinely beat out grounders and makes him a dangerous base-stealing threat, as evidenced by his 70 swipes in 199 games during his first two pro seasons. – MLB Prospect Watch"
Duran is on the fast track, but should he be brought up? Back to Ellsbury. Ellsbury made two calls to Boston as previously mentioned. Both were successful. The total at-bats were just 19 and that end result was a .316 average. Insight for the player and team that Ellsbury had that certain something. September showed that.
That should be applied to Duran. Unless a series of injuries or a team collapse hasten a move, Duran can get a piecemeal opportunity. A baseball dipping of the toes. When Ellsbury came up as part of the September influx he was no novice. What he did that September and beyond was to become a star. And one who could cause catchers and pitchers the jitters. Maybe Duran can do the same, but not now.