A seventh-rounder out of Long Beach State in 2018, Duran is believed to be the lowest Draft pick ever to play in the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game during his first full pro season. He posted a .910 OPS in his pro debut, then flirted with batting .400 in Class A Advanced during the first two months of 2019. He struggled in Double-A following a June promotion, but the Red Sox nevertheless are excited by how much he has exceeded initial expectations.
With a compact left-handed swing built for contact and plus-plus speed, Duran routinely beats out ground balls for hits and creates havoc when he's on base. After slugging .377 in three years of college, he posted a .527 mark at his first three pro stops and showed some affinity for backspinning balls from gap to gap. Most of his power comes to the opposite field, though it diminished when he got to Double-A, leaving scouts split as to whether he'll be more than a slap hitter.
Duran spent his college career and his first month in pro ball at second base before becoming a full-time outfielder. He has been slow to develop instincts for his new position, often taking poor routes to balls and relying on his quickness to overcome his mistakes, and he has fringy arm strength. There's a wide divergence in his possible outcomes, from a solid center-field regular to an extra outfielder with one better-than-average tool.
Scouting grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 45 | Run: 70 | Arm: 45 | Field: 55 | Overall: 50
Duran's plus-plus speed led the Red Sox to sign him for $189,000 as a seventh-rounder in the 2018 Draft. They weren't expecting much power after he had slugged .377 in three years at Long Beach State, so his .357/.394/.516 debut was a pleasant surprise. He quickly established himself as the fastest player and top outfield prospect in the system, and he built on that by dominating Class A Advanced early in 2019.
Duran has a left-handed stroke geared for line-drive contact and his quickness can make routine ground balls a challenge for the defense. While he won't be a slugger, he has the ability to backspin the ball from gap to gap and drove the ball more consistently once he stopped spreading out in his stance like he did in college. He's still honing his basestealing acumen, but he has the speed to be a force on the bases.
A second baseman for the 49ers, Duran spent his first month in pro ball at the keystone before shifting to the outfield. He needs to improve his reads and jumps but is fast enough to outrun a lot of his mistakes and should become a solid center fielder once he gains more experience. He has fringy arm strength but it isn't a liability because he gets to balls quicker than most outfielders.