The Red Sox had two of their top prospects leave the organization for a couple weeks early in June to go play in the Olympic qualifiers for Team USA. Only one of them is slated to return to the team as they head to Tokyo later this month for the actual Olympic games, along with another in the organization. The two going are Triston Casas and Jack López, while Jarren Duran is notably absent.
We should start off with the two players who are actually going in Casas and López. The former is the number one prospect in the organization, though the first baseman has been on a bit of a cool streak since returning to Double-A after the aforementioned qualifiers. López, meanwhile, played for Puerto Rico in the qualifiers and is now with Team USA. The utility man is a long-time minor-league player in his first season with the Red Sox organization. Splitting time between Portland and Worcester, the 28-year-old is hitting .348/.385/.477 this season.
But really, the story here is the lack of Duran. The outfielder was a standout for the team during qualifiers, so one would assume if he was available he’d be in Tokyo. That he’s seemingly not available, and he’s not hurt, would indicate that the team at least wants the option to call him up between now and mid-August. It seemed like a possibility he’d be up as soon as this weekend given the team’s history of calling up top prospects during west coast swings. He won’t be up this weekend as he’s still in Worcester, but the clock should be ticking, and it’s a matter of when, not if.
Update (12:50 PM ET)
Per Alex Speier of the Boston Globe, it was the USOC’s decision, not the Red Sox, of Duran not being on the team.
…a player, Olympic team elected not to include him on the roster - for the same reason that the team doesn’t feature members of 40-man rosters. Duran is de facto big league depth at this point, very likely to reach the big leagues at some point this year.— Alex Speier (@alexspeier) July 2, 2021