Does Jarren Duran have a future with the Red Sox?
Is there a Red Sox future for Jarren Duran? Duran will be 26 years old in September, and from my perspective, the Red Sox management no longer considers him the same 25th-ranked MLB prospect he was in 2021. The Red Sox have now recalled Duran and placed Christian Arroyo on the COVID IL. Will this be another cup of coffee for Duran? Or could this be a showcase?
Last season, Duran got the call and, to my disappointment, that of Red Sox fans, and indeed Duran, the outcomes were not as expected. Duran slashed just .215/.241/.338 with a pair of home runs. The 33-game sample also produced a 35.7 K% and a 3.6 BB%. Defensively, Duran was a converted infielder, and it showed. More seasoning was needed.
"Slip slidin’ awaySlip slidin’ awayYou know the nearer your destinationThe more you’re slip slidin’ away – Paul Simon"
Duran began the season in Worcester (AAA) and is slashing .305/.379/.531 with six home runs through. Home and road splits do not demonstrate any significant advantage either way. The speed is evident with 11 swiped bases in 13 tries, but playing time in Boston has been limited to a handful of games.
Duran was industrious regarding self-improvement, adding muscle that resulted in more home run power. Was that a failure forcing Duran to dump a contact/speed game for power? That two-way approach worked well for Jacoby Ellsbury.
Duran is now an afterthought. Do the Red Sox even consider Duran part of their plans? Enrique Hernandez, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Arroyo could depart after this season, and Franchy Cordero has impressed and now regressed. Rob Refsnyder is making the most of another MLB opportunity. The minors prospect list is relatively thin on outfielders, so what gives? Is Duran being relegated to the emergency option only?
Duran did get another opportunity this season and had another brief taste of “The Show” when JBJ took paternity leave. Duran hit .308 but whiffed five times in three games. The Red Sox, especially manager Alex Cora, want Duran to utilize his speed and put the ball in play. It sounds simple, but it is all in the execution. Duran now has another opportunity that may be more than a few games and performance could significantly influence Duran’s career with Boston or potentially elsewhere.
At Worcester this season, Duran is more disciplined at the plate than in Boston, but then again, this is AAA pitching. Duran has posted a 10.1 BB% and 24.2 K%. That would be acceptable at the MLB level, but so far, the limited MLB sample shows improvement is necessary.
Duran’s window of opportunity seems to be opening and then abruptly closing. Is Duran the most likely high-profile prospect to be traded in the near future? As mentioned, this latest recall could be crucial in Duran’s future. The brass ring is there.
Several teams are going nowhere, and even their most loyal fans realize that. The Royals, Reds, and Nats, among others, present reasonable trading partners. Duran is still a talent who needs to play, and his AAA stats show nothing to prove, and it is on a personal level with me as I watch a career slip away.
The Red Sox are undoubtedly relevant after a horrific start and are making a serious run for a playoff slot. Both Tampa and the Jays are within reach, Boston will have to bulk up on pitching with a rash of arm injuries, and Chaim Bloom now has a farm system with trade chips. Duran could be just that chip.