Jarren Duran has been making plenty of noise — in a good way — at the Red Sox’s alternate training site in Pawtucket.
Another spot also just opened in Boston’s outfield with the trade of Kevin Pillar to the Colorado Rockies.
Yet Duran is unlikely to be called up to the majors anytime soon, according to Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke. A 2021 arrival seems far more likely as Boston stumbles toward the 2020 finish line.
“I know we talked about him, but I think (Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom) and his crew feel that he is a ways away and didn’t want to rush bringing him up here and playing him,” Roenicke told reporters Tuesday during a video conference. “I look at his reports all the time, and he’s doing well. But he’s still got some development, and there’s a guy that we need to really take care of and do the right things because this could be a pretty special player.”
Duran, a seventh-round pick in 2018, had a solid spring, thrusting his name into the major league conversation even before the season began. The chatter only has intensified in recent weeks, with Duran showing a ton of promise during intrasquad games at McCoy Stadium.
Still, it appears there are no plans to rush Duran to Boston. The Red Sox, in theory, could use outfield help, especially with Andrew Benintendi battling a rib cage injury that might sideline him for the remainder of the season. But they’ll instead rely on a mix of veterans down the stretch.
“I think we will rotate it around,” Roenicke said Tuesday.
Obviously, that isn’t the most exciting alternative. Durran, meanwhile, personifies excitement, boasting both blazing speed and evolving power after making a major adjustment to his swing over the offseason.
“I think what we saw in spring training — spring training 1 — was really encouraging and showed great progress, and I think for us it was important to be able to continue to see that and continue to help him take those strides forward, and I think he’s definitely done that,” Ben Crockett, Red Sox vice president of player development, recently said of the 23-year-old. “Anytime you’re doing something that’s still a little bit new or different than what you were doing in the past, it takes a number of reps to kind of have that ingrained and become natural. But I think, as we know, anything from a mechanical standpoint, it all comes down to reps and refining it and continuing to really hone in on exactly what’s going to be the right fit for the individual.”
Duran has yet to play above Double-A, and admittedly there’s still a wide range of possible outcomes for a player with his offensive profile. But the talent is there, the work ethic is there and the progress is there.
The opportunity just isn’t there — yet.
Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images