Duran was a fairly prominent prospect in the 2015 J2 class, however issues with his MLB registration caused him to get lost in the shuffle. He eventually signed with the Yankees for just $10K in 2017. After dominating the DSL in his first taste of pro-ball later that year, Duran’s stateside debut did not live up to the buzz, struggling mightily in Rookie ball with Pulaski in 2018. This season, the 20-year-old has rebounded with Short-Season Staten Island, slashing .270/.343/.531 while leading the NY-Penn league in home runs (12).
Listed at 5-foot-11 and 185 pounds, Duran is sturdily built with minimal physical projection remaining. His strong wrists and forearms generate plus bat speed and, combined with a launch-conscious approach and ultra-aggressive hack, allow him to showcase his raw power in game settings. Duran creates good lift and engages his lower half well with hip torque by way of a fluid, tall leg kick. Though not a free-swinger, there is definitely some swing-and-miss in Duran’s offensive profile due to his “doesn’t get cheated” approach and raw pitch recognition skills. Despite the high strikeout totals, he exhibits a plan at the plate, occasionally altering his natural pull-heavy approach to hit the other way and move a runner over. Although Duran stole 11 bags this season, his average speed does not project to add much value as pitchers’ ability to manage the running game improves up the ladder. Defensively, the 20-year-old projects to be an average second baseman. Though his lateral range leaves something to be desired, Duran shows coordinated actions charging the ball with the arm strength to turn double plays and finish off-balance throws
Duran was one of the NY-Penn League’s most promising prospects this summer. He is a long-term project, but there is a lot to like. His power is a legit carrying tool, and he displays an above-average feel and aptitude for the game. As better scouting and analytic tools become available at each level, I believe Duran will improve his bat-to-ball skills and his power production will outweigh the strikeouts. While the range in potential career outcomes is wide, the ingredients are here for a power hitting second baseman that could produce enough at the plate to fit as a FV 50 regular in peak years.