A year ago, Jarren Duran was a can’t miss the prospect. After an impressive start to the 2021 campaign, he was promoted to the majors and singled off Gerrit Cole in his first at-bat. While the expectations were high, Duran struggled. In his first stint in the majors, he hit .215 in 105 at-bats. In June, the former seventh-round pick has gotten another chance and is in a unique position with the trade deadline approaching.
Through 26 at-bats this year, the California native has posted a .269 average. Four of his seven hits have gone for extra bases, and his speed has been on full display. Duran has appeared more comfortable at the plate in a small sample size. Although his offense has been encouraging, he has made a few crucial mistakes in the field.
While Duran has yet to record an error this season, his defense is still a work in progress. On Thursday, Cristian Pache hit a 218-foot flyball into centerfield that turned into a double. That hit, which should’ve been an out, ignited an Oakland three-run inning. When asked about the play postgame, Alex Cora said, “Duran needs to take charge on that one. We don’t make that play, and from there, they score runs.”
Although Duran’s mistake was costly, he has a hit in four of his six starts this month. In that span, the speedy outfielder has posted a .273 batting average. His stay in the majors is expected to end when Christian Arroyo returns from the COVID list, but Duran is showing the impact he can make.
Those wheels are special!
Jarren Duran already has two triples in his career, this one set him up to score the opening run of the game. pic.twitter.com/XZKx7I8aqf
— Just Baseball (@JustBBMedia) June 17, 2022
His Value as a Trade Piece?
Due to the Boston Red Sox’s recent play, they are back in the playoff discussion. In their last 33 games, Boston has gone 23-10 and will likely be looking to add at the trade deadline. To acquire an impact piece, Duran could be part of a deal to get that piece. His speed would be valuable to any contender, and he does not have a starting role in Boston. With the Red Sox in serious need of bullpen help, teams could do worse than Duran.
Regardless of how the coming weeks unfold, Duran is a prospect to keep an eye on. He was hitting .305 prior to his return to the majors and is showing the ability to make adjustments. Although his stock has fallen over the last year, he still has plenty of value, and his speed is rare.
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