The Cincinnati Reds just announced that outfielder Juan Duran has been outrighted, clearing waivers, and sent to Double-A Pensacola. He had just returned to playing every day after serving an 80-game suspension for testing positive for a performance enhancing drug in the offseason.
The Reds originally signed Juan Duran in early 2008 for $2,000,000 after they got the jump on the rest of the teams in Major League Baseball. Other teams believed that Duran, born on September 2nd of 1991 was ineligible to sign until July 2nd of 2008. The rules, however, state that players are eligible to sign as long as they are 16 by the end of the current minor league season. As it would turn out, there were a few teams still playing on September 2nd, and thus it made Duran eligible to sign that year when in many past years he wouldn’t have been. The schedule simply worked out in that given year and someone was very astute in noticing that within the Reds organization.
Duran has shown off big time power potential since he joined the organization. What he’s also shown is a big propensity to strike out. He’s racked up 843 strikeouts since signing, good for a strikeout rate of 33%. His strikeout rate has never really shown much improvement – it’s never been lower than 29.4% at any stop along the way, and it’s peaked at 37.6%.
Where he has shown improvement over the years is on the defensive side of the baseball. There was a long stretch of time when he simply couldn’t catch a fly ball that he wasn’t camped under. If he had to catch a ball while moving, you were looking at a 50-50 situation as to whether he could catch it or not. That’s no longer the case. He’s much more coordinated on the move now that he used to be, though he’s still a well below-average defender. His arm is still very impressive when it comes to arm-strength, but he overthrows too often trying to get guys on the bases.
Despite being a very tall guy, listed at 6′ 7″, he’s an above-average runner. His times to first base are average-ish, but he’s a slow starter. Once he gets moving you can really see the speed come through.
The 2016 season was his third option year, meaning he would have had to have stuck with the big league club on the 25-man roster next year. However, clearing waivers and being outrighted takes that out of the equation for the organization. At 24-years-old, Duran has some tools to work with, but he’s also got a lot of things to continue to work on if he’s going to eventually find himself in the Major Leagues in the future.