The Cincinnati Reds have sent outfielder Juan Duran to the Dayton Dragons on a Major League rehab assignment. The outfielder missed the first half of the season after serving an 80-game suspension for a failed drug test in the offseason.
Juan Duran has never been in the Major Leagues, but he is on the 40-man roster and thus he faces Major League penalties for the testing. While he was allowed to participate in spring training, he was not allowed to be optioned to the minor leagues. That is why he’s on a Major League rehab assignment instead of just being assigned to a minor league team. He will have 30 days on rehab assignment (which can change levels) before he will need to join the big league team, or be optioned by the Reds.
The 2016 season is a big one for Duran. He is now 24-years-old and only has half of a minor league season to work with before he will be out of options. The outfielder has never played above the Double-A level, spending part of the 2014 season with Pensacola before returning there in 2015 for less than half of a season after missing plenty of time early in the year with an injury.
It 602 plate appearances with the Blue Wahoos he’s hit .248/.294/.454 with 35 walks and 218 strikeouts. At 6′ 7″ tall, he’s got an enormous strikezone and it’s worked against him as he’s racked up high strikeout totals at every stop along the way. He’s got some of the best current power in the system, if not the best. His raw power is unquestionably the best in the system.
The clock is working against him as his 40-man roster spot may be needed as the Reds continue to add depth to their organization. With highly questionable defense and real struggles at the plate, despite an enormous power tool to work with, the next two-and-a-half months in the minor leagues will be very important for his future with the franchise.