Red Sox prospect Jarren Duran needs a major rebound season in 2022

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 23: Jarren Duran #40 of the Boston Red Sox follows through against the Texas Rangers during the seventh inning at Fenway Park on August 23, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo By Winslow Townson/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 23: Jarren Duran #40 of the Boston Red Sox follows through against the Texas Rangers during the seventh inning at Fenway Park on August 23, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo By Winslow Townson/Getty Images) /

Jarren Duran needs a big season to stay with the Red Sox

Whether the lockout ends next week or next month, MLB believes the 2022 regular season will occur on time. This means we should start looking toward what could be as far as the Red Sox roster and one man that I feel needs to make some waves in spring training is Jarren Duran. With several proven players on the roster and some shinier prospects in the waiting, he could be the odd man out.

I was one of the many that was clamoring for the Red Sox to promote Duran in 2021 and I can admit that I was wrong on that mindset. We had heard from both Alex Cora and Chaim Bloom that the young outfielder would get the call when they felt he was ready, but there were some things he still needed to work on. Well, Jarren continued to destroy baseballs at Polar Park and his phone finally rang, time to head to Fenway.

It’s not that Duran had a bad debut season in the Majors. His .215/.241/.336 was alright for a rookie who played in just 33 games. He’d also tally three doubles, two homers, and 10 RBI, with a pair of triples sprinkled on top. There’s no doubt that the guy can swing for power and has speed that would make even The Flash jealous. One thing is and will continue to hold him back if it’s not corrected, the strikeouts.

Much like Bobby Dalbec and Michael Chavis before him, Duran is incredibly aggressive at the plate and if you throw him a fastball above the letters, he’s going to swing every damn time. In 112 plate appearances this season he racked up an insane 40 whiffs.

To put it into perspective, he only took four walks in that same time span. I appreciate his desire to get hits and contribute, but ultimately it cost him his spot in 2021 and could do even more damage going forward.

In one aspect I believe Duran will be safe as he had just those 33 games and still has time to work on his deficiencies, but time isn’t on his side. The Red Sox outfield is already crowded with Alex Verdugo, Kiké Hernández, Jackie Bradley Jr., the possibilities of Kyle Schwarber and Seiya Suzuki, and then Jarren. He needs to impress big time when spring training rolls around or he may find himself on the chopping block.

With each promotion through the system, Duran’s AVG and OBP would decrease while his SLG was all over the place. I don’t know if it’s a matter of pitchers figuring out his weaknesses or just not adjusting to the increase in difficulty. He looked real good playing in Worcester but when it came time to apply those abilities to Boston, it just didn’t translate.

While Dalbec isn’t perfect, toward the end of 2021 he got much sharper at the plate, something Chavis couldn’t do. If Jarren wants to stay with the Red Sox he’ll need to follow Bobby’s lead and not so much the Ice Horse’s or else he could be wearing a different uniform by the end of the summer. Don’t put it past Chaim to send Duran packing if he can get a strong return coming back our way.

I’d hate to see Jarren sent off but as a highly-touted prospect with boatloads of talent and skill, I wouldn’t be surprised if other clubs were calling about him. He’s currently ranked fourth in the Red Sox system by Sox Prospects and the guys ahead of him have a lot more upside from what we’ve seen.

If Bloom can get a much-needed piece at the Trade Deadline by packaging Duran with another player he’s likely going to do it. Chaim has proven to be a master when it comes to trades and he’ll do what is necessary to field a winning club.

I’m a massive Jarren Duran fan and I’d love to see him spend years upon years with the Red Sox, but he needs to tighten up his game or he’ll be outta here. We saw how things ended for Chavis when it was clear that we knew what he was, I hope Jarren can learn from that. Take every opportunity to get better and improve because there isn’t a lot of time to skate by on what got you here. I for one, hope to see Jarren mashing baseballs all over Fenway Park in 2022 and solidifying his spot on this roster.

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