High-A Minor League Player of the Year
Boston Red Sox prospect Jarren Duran was named the High-A Minor League Player of the Year by Baseball America on Friday. After being taken in the seventh round of last summer’s draft, the outfielder is the fourth-ranked prospect in Boston’s farm system and is expected to break into the bigs by 2021.
Duran took home this honor while only playing 50 games at the High-A level before being promoted to Double-A. In those 50 games for the Salem Red Sox, Duran hit .387/.456/.543 with 18 stolen bases. While his slash-line was through the roof, Duran lacks big-league power at this time, only tallying four home runs and 19 RBI. In 26 of his first 50 games in Salem, he was able to maintain an average above .400. Duran’s average wouldn’t drop below that mark until May 4 — one month after the season had begun.
Oscar Gonzalez, a prospect in the Cleveland Indians system led the Carolina League in batting average and played in 96 games; nearly twice as much as Duran. However, through each of their first 50 games at that level, Duran still hit .033 points better than Gonzalez.
Once Duran made the jump to Double-A Portland, his production took a step back from his outlandish numbers in Salem. In 82 games for the Portland Sea Dogs, he only hit .250/.309/.325. Granted, a step back is to be expected when promoted to a higher level. The outfielder only hit one long-ball and drove in 19 runs in Portland.
If Duran is able to bounce back and have a productive 2020 season at the Double-A level, he could still be on track to break into the bigs by late 2020, or 2021. This estimated arrival could perfectly coincide with the potential departures of Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr., or J.D. Martinez. Leaving an opening for Duran in the Fenway outfield.