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Two Red Sox prospects land on Baseball America’s updated top 100

Jarren Duran
Kelly O’Connor;

The Red Sox farm system is, as we know, one of the worst in all of baseball. However, Dave Dombrowski has been hard at work at trying to rebuild that while staying competitive at the highest level, and strong draft classes are the key to making that work. It’s too early to say much of anything about this year’s draft class, as most players have yet to even sign. That said, last year’s class is starting to come together with a couple of guys for the Red Sox experiencing real helium. In fact, there is enough momentum for both that Boston now has two players on Baseball America’s updated top 100 prospects list.

Baseball America’s list is generally fairly dynamic and fluid throughout the year, and as prospect graduate from their rookie status then new players fill in the rest of their list. That’s how Triston Casas and Jarren Duran found their way in at the end of the list at numbers 98 and 99, respectively.

For Casas, it’s not a major surprise that he would be this kind of prospect so quickly. Granted, that’s not to say this was the expectation or anything like that but the first round pick has a huge bat and the pedigree to be a top prospect. Him being a first baseman surely limits his upside both in terms of future value and national recognition, but if he swings the bat like he’s capable of he’ll have plenty of both. After struggling to start his professional career, Casas has turned it around over the last five or six weeks and looks every bit the part of a first round, top-100 prospect. BA acknowledges the swing-and-miss and Casas’ game, but says the power and patience will off-set that at the plate.

Duran is more of a surprise, particularly when you consider where he was even just heading into the season. Last year’s seventh round pick exploded onto the scene in the lower levels last season, though many thought that was just inexperienced pitching and defenses going up against a polished and speedy college player. He has yet to slow down as a professional, though, ripping through High-A and recently earning himself a quick promotion to Portland. Duran is not exactly the prototypical modern player as he relies more on line drives and his legs to do damage, but it’s surely been working so far. Throw in a good knowledge of the strike zone to draw plenty of walks and he looks like a potential future leadoff hitter for years to come.