Back in 2017, the New York Yankees signed a prospect out of the Dominican Republic that has turned out to be one of the more powerful players in their minor league system. Coming in as the 27th ranked prospect in the New York Yankees farm system is second basemen Ezequiel Duran. Duran, a 5’11 second baseman, has demonstrated some strong skills since joining the Yankees professional ranks. Duran has experimented with multiple positions in the infield, but his average arms suit him well at second base. He’s displayed solid defense at that position, and he’s got a very quick trigger relaying double play balls. I would venture to say that Duran is an average to slightly above average defender at this stage in his young career. However, the defense is not what is bringing people to the ballpark to watch Duran. Duran hits the ball to all fields with extremely easy power and he possesses one of the best exit velos in the entire system. Duran’s speed and power make him a dynamic prospect that the Yankees got for a very reasonable price back in 2017.
Last year with Staten Island, Duran had a pretty good season where he showed off some of his tools. He led his league last year with 13 home runs in just 66 games. He also was able to steal 11 bases and had an OBP of .329. Duran currently projects as a guy who could easily be a 20-20 threat as he progresses through the minors. The one thing that stands out about Duran when watching him hit is his use of his lower half. At 20 years old, a lot of hitters are focused more on using their upper body to hit the baseball. Because of this, you can see a lack of power in young prospects. Duran has already figured out his power swing generating extremely easy power from his lower half. He’s got a tremendous approach at the plate and has stated that he’s more focused on driving the ball gap to gap as opposed to out of the ballpark. Duran can get a little trigger happy at times which is one of the drawbacks of him, but that’s nothing abnormal for a guy who is just 20 years old.
When the season gets underway, I just want to see more quality at-bats from Duran. He showed so much progress last year after really struggling in the first month. He was hitting below 200 after one month last year but turned it around massively. Obviously struggles are going to happen, but I want to see a season of consistency from Duran. I want to continue to see him drive the ball to all fields, and I want to see his walks go up this year. I would love to see the OBP numbers climb to around 350 or higher. Duran has all of the tools to play at the MLB level, he just needs to continue to work on fine-tuning some of his weapons. Once he cleans a few things up, he definitely will be able to have an impact on MLB games in the next couple of years.