Despite not seeing any live pitching during the pandemic-induced shutdown period, Red Sox prospect Jarren Duran had himself quite the night in the Red Sox’ final intrasquad game of Summer Camp at Fenway Park on Monday.
Making the trek up from Pawtucket along with Jeter Downs and Josh Ockimey, Duran started in center field and hit out of the nine-hole for the Home Sox in Monday’s contest and went 2-for-3 with a pair of hard-hit doubles, the first of which drove in two runs off left-hander Jeffrey Springs in the second inning.
On the defensive side of the ball, Duran was just as impressive, as the Sox’ eighth-ranked prospect put his speed on full display while robbing Marco Hernandez of an extra-base hit off Martin Perez in the top half of the sixth.
That flash of the leather prompted Perez to tell reporters after the game that “[Duran’s] really good, man.”
As for what Duran himself thought about his performance, the 23-year-old led off by saying that it was “just surreal” to play at Fenway Park and that “he couldn’t stop looking around” the ballpark.
“I wasn’t really thinking,” Duran added when speaking to reporters via Zoom. “I missed baseball so much. It was an honor just to be here.”
Before spring training was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic in March, Duran was opening up eyes around Red Sox camp as it looked like he was going to start the year with Double-A Portland.
Instead, the 2020 minor-league season was eventually cancelled last month, and Duran, like so many other prospects across baseball, lost the chance to continue to hone his craft in actual games.
Still, the southern California did not view that cancellation as a massive road block and instead opted for a more optimistic outlook on things.
“I think it just depends on how bad you want it,” he said. “We have the resources to push ourselves.”
For Duran, those resources were made available at Long Beach State, his alma mater, where he hit during the layoff before the Angels took over the facility for their own workouts.
Because there will be no organized minor-league baseball at all in 2020, Duran will likely spend his second professional season as a member of the Red Sox organization in Pawtucket at the club‘s alternate training site, otherwise known as McCoy Stadium.
The former Dirtbag was taken by Boston in the seventh round of the 2018 amateur draft and is regarded by FanGraphs as the second-fastest prospect in the Sox’ farm system behind only Gilberto Jimenez.
Like Duran, Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke is also a native of southern California. The Sox skipper liked what he saw from the speedster during spring training earlier in the year, and he certainly liked what he saw from him at Summer Camp on Monday.
“How do you do that?” Roenicke asked rhetorically. “You sit for 3 1/2 months and you come back right where you left off. If he figures it out he’s going to be some kind of player.”