Top Red Sox outfield prospect Jarren Duran was scratched from Triple-A Worcester’s starting lineup on Friday night, but not for the reason you might expect.
Duran was originally leading off and starting in center field for the WooSox in their game against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Phillies affiliate) in Allentown, Pa., which was slated to begin at 7:05 p.m. eastern time, but has since been delayed.
At approximately 6:30 p.m., however, the WooSox announced a lineup change, as left fielder Marcus Wilson moved into the leadoff spot and Tate Matheny took over for Duran in center field.
That change led many to speculate if the Red Sox were making preparations to call up one of their most exciting prospects for his highly-anticipated major-league debut, but it turns out that he was removed from Worcester’s lineup for injury-related reasons.
According to the Worcester Telegram’s Joe McDonald, Duran was scratched with lower-back tightness, though the move is more precautionary than anything on account of the rainy conditions in eastern Pennsylvania.
Duran, who turns 25 in September, is regarded by Baseball America as the No. 5 prospect in Boston’s farm system, ranking first among outfielders in the organization.
With the WooSox this season, the speedy left-handed hitting outfielder has posted an impressive .279/.369/.581 slash line (148 wRC+) to go along with 15 home runs, 32 RBI, 36 runs scored, 22 walks, 47 strikeouts, and 10 stolen bases over 43 games (179 plate appearances) thus far.
While he has continued to turn heads in Worcester — as well as with Team USA — this year, Duran is still waiting for that first call up to the big-leagues.
Despite helping Team USA qualify for the Summer Games earlier this spring, Duran was not named to their final Olympic roster last week.
The reasoning behind that, according to The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier, had to do with the United States Olympic Committee being concerned that the Red Sox would want to call him up while he was playing in Tokyo, which in turn would lead to logistical challenges.
With that being said, Speier added that “Duran is de facto big league depth at this point [and is] very likely to reach the big-leagues at some point this year.”
(Picture of Jarren Duran: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)