By Matt McCarthy, 985TheSportsHub.com
There’s a new name to know in the Red Sox minor league system.
Outfielder Jarren Duran, a 7th round pick last year out of Long Beach State, is tearing up the low minors. The 22-year-old is currently hitting .405 with an OPS of 1.020 in 39 games at Class-A Advanced Salem.
By nearly every metric, the left-handed hitting Duran has impressed at the plate. He hit .357 with a .910 OPS in 2018. He hasn’t struggled one bit with left-handed pitchers, either. Duran is batting .453 off southpaws in 2019.
Duran is already considered one of the fastest players in professional baseball. Despite not making his professional debut until June, he led the minors in triples last year with 11 between Single-A Lowell and Single-A Greenville. He went 24-for-34 in stolen base attempts last year and is 13-for-18 this year.
Just how fast is Duran? He’s drawing comparisons to Billy Hamilton and Dee Gordon:
A note on Jarren Duran's speed: On video I have him going from contact to 2B on a double last night in 7.5 secs including a bad slide.— Red Sox Stats (@redsoxstats) May 14, 2019
At one point last summer Dee Gordon did it in 7.64 and was the 4th fastest of the year, with the top three spots belonging to Billy Hamilton. pic.twitter.com/5KrBpIkMy0
Duran was drafted as a second baseman, but the Red Sox moved him to the outfield last season. He split time between right field and second base in 2018 and has exclusively played center field in 2019.
It’s hard to imagine the Red Sox will keep Duran, a college draftee, in Salem for much longer. The jump from Single-A to Double-A is considered the toughest in minor league baseball, so it remains to be seen if Duran is on his way to top prospect status or whether he is a flash in the pan, but there is no doubt he is garnering plenty of attention for the time being.
Duran entered the season as the 12th ranked prospect in the Red Sox system by Baseball America and is currently the ninth ranked player in the organization by SoxProspects.com.