Duran started in center field, batted leadoff and went 0-for-4 in Triple-A Worcester's season-opener Tuesday. The Red Sox want to see how close Duran is to the majors and will give him an extended run of at-bats for the WooSox, according to Ian Browne of MLB.com. It's been a while since Duran played affiliated ball, and general manager Chaim Bloom is interested to see how the prospect tests a new swing and approach against Triple-A competition. "We want to make sure we don't try to learn too much from a really small sample, but just having him go through the ups and downs of the season and playing every day and doing it with the various ways that we have to track his performance," said Bloom. Duran is primarily a center fielder but was exposed to corner outfield in spring training and the alternate site. It doesn't take much to see the struggles of Franchy Cordero, who still has minor-league options, possibly facilitating an eventual landing spot for Duran later this season.
Duran has played left field and right field during simulated games at the Red Sox's alternate camp, Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com reports. Duran was moved from second base to center field in 2018 and played the latter since. Now, it appears the Red Sox are exposing him to corner outfield in case those positions present a path to the majors. Looking at the major-league roster, the performances of Franchy Cordero (.196, 9-for-46, 24 strikeouts) and Hunter Renfroe (.189, 10-for-53, .545 OPS) may have prompted the organization to consider Duran for a possible promotion later in 2021. Cordero still has minor-league options and could be sent down if he doesn't turn it around at the dish.
Duran was reassigned to minor-league camp Wednesday, Chris Cotillo of The Springfield Republican reports. Durran had a hot start to spring training but cooled off slightly in recent Grapefruit League appearances. He went just 2-for-12 with a triple, one run, one walk and seven strikeouts over his past 10 spring games and will now head to minor-league camp ahead of the regular season.
Duran went 2-for-3 with a double, a solo home run, and two runs scored in Thursday's spring game against the Orioles. All four of Duran's spring hits are extra-base knocks, including two homers. He's Boston's center fielder of the future -- Jackie Bradley's signing with Milwaukee cemented that projection -- but manager Alex Cora feels he still needs development work, Ian Browne of MLB.com reports. The manager cited a moment during Thursday's game when Duran threw to the wrong base. "Those are the things that are part of the equation. It's good that he makes a mistake like that so we can correct it," Cora said. "He makes a nice play going to his right, made that bad decision." Duran is 4-for-8 with a walk and three RBI in five spring appearances.
Duran received an invitation to the Red Sox's major-league spring training Tuesday, Chris Cotillo of The Springfield Republican reports. The 24-year-old spent 2020 at Boston's alternate training site and will join the big-league club for spring training. Duran spent most of 2019 at Double-A and had a .250/.309/.325 slash line in 352 plate appearances, so there's a chance he's able to make his MLB debut in 2021.