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May 30, 2019 at 8:00 AM

Scouting Report Updates: Jarren Duran and other Salem hitters

This season, when we make significant updates to our player page scouting reports based on first-hand looks (as well as reports from trusted sources, as always), we will post them in their entirety on the News Page. This batch of updates is headlined by the breakout star of the system in 2019, Jarren Duran, and will be the first of two posts covering updates to hitters who have spent time in High A Salem this season. One or two posts on Salem pitchers—with corresponding updates—will come after our draft coverage next week.

Jarren Duran, center fielder, Salem Red Sox

Physical Description: Tall, lean frame. Quick-twitch athlete. Athleticism stands out on the field. Has room to add strength in his upper body. 

Hit: Starts square and utilizes a toe tap timing device. Very simple swing mechanics. Short, direct swing. Quick hands. Aggressive and will attack early in the count, but can recognize spin and will take a walk. Will take what the pitcher gives him. Looks to put the ball in play with hard line drives to all fields. Tapped into unexpected offensive potential after signing when he changed his initial setup—once starting from a wide stance and coming up and back during college, he now starts upright. Potential plus hit tool.

Power: Well below-average power at present. Potential below-average power. Will run into a few home runs per year, but swing isn’t geared for over-the-fence power. Double and triple numbers will be inflated by speed on hard-hit line drives, rather than by power. Change in initial setup at the plate has allowed him to at least tap into significantly more gap-to-gap power than expected when he signed. Still something of a slasher.

Arm: Fringe-average arm strength. May develop as he continues getting used to the outfield.

Field: Potential above-average to plus defender. Still raw; needs to continue developing in the outfield after switching from second base during his pro debut. Initially showed a slow first step in the outfield, struggling with initial reads. Was able to make up for that due to his speed, but clearly wasn’t comfortable. Initially moved to right field, where line to plate is similar to second base, before converting full-time in 2019 to center field, where his speed could allow him to develop tremendous range. Long-term, has the speed and athleticism teams covet for center field. At second base, showed soft hands and fluid actions, though athleticism was somewhat wasted.

Run: True plus-plus speed. Potential difference maker on the bases. Needs to refine basestealing instincts, but has the type of speed that puts immense pressure on the defense. In the low minors, at least, speed has allowed him to post unsustainable batting averages on balls in play, as defenses have not been developed enough to throw him out on some routine plays.

Career Notes: Led his high school team to a state title his sophomore year. Put together a strong season for Wareham in the 2017 Cape Cod Summer League. Made it to the Super Regionals with Long Beach State in 2017. Played second base in college, but transitioned to outfield quickly after being drafted. Has performed at a much higher level as a pro than even the organization was expecting. Participated in the Fall Instructional League in 2018. 

Summation: Potential everyday player with two carrying tools. Double-plus speed will compensate for below-average power. If he develops even average power to go with a potential plus hit tool, could become a dynamic offensive player. Needs to continue to refine offensive approach, but that is already happening and he has shown strong ability to make contact and drive the ball into the gaps. With his speed, has the potential to put a lot of pressure on the defense and inflate his average with infield singles. Over-the-fence power won’t be a major part of his game, but could steal 30-plus bases if he improves his instincts. Lack of power limits upside some, but if he makes enough contact for his speed to play, it won’t matter. Continuing to develop in center field, having just started playing the position, but likely to develop into at least an average defender there and has the raw tools to become an above-average or plus defender. Has one surefire major league impact tool in his speed, so should have a role on a major league roster even in the worst-case scenario. 


Garrett Benge, third baseman, Salem Red Sox

Physical Description: Average frame with minimal physical projection remaining. Below-average athlete. 

Hit: Starts from an open stance with bat on shoulder, then brings it up. Uses a leg lift timing device. Quick hands make up for small hitch in load. Solid-average bat speed. Utilizes the whole field. Needs to work on pitch recognition and cut down on swing-and-miss. Swing lacks loft, more designed for line drives. Some feel for hit. Potential fringe-average hit tool. 

Power: Gap power at present. Fringe-average raw power. Projects for below-average game power in his peak at best. 

Run: Below-average speed. Not a part of his game. 

Field: Not a natural fielder. Struggles with his reads and is not instinctual. Footwork gets sloppy and can lead to unnecessary errors. Lacks fluidity, hands tend to fight the ball. Below-average potential defender at third base. 

Arm: Below-average arm strength and accuracy. Accuracy is impacted by poor footwork leading to throws in the dirt or off target. Needs to get entire body into throws across the diamond in order to be accurate.

Summation: Potential organizational bat. Lack of defensive value and power potential limit upside. If forced to move off third base, will really have to hit. Projects as a below-average defender at third base so a position change is possible in the future. Athleticism limits the other positions he could move to. Swing works and has some upside at the plate, especially if his power and pitch recognition continue to develop.

Jagger Rusconi, outfielder, Salem Red Sox

Physical Description: Wiry, athletic frame. Lacks strength at present. Some projection remaining. Injury prone. 

Hit: Starts square with his hands high from both sides of the plate. Utilizes a slight leg lift. Swing is more advanced from the left side. Looser and quicker to the ball. Will sometimes get shifted to pull hitting left-handed. Bat drags from the right side. In the early makings of developing an approach, but has shown the ability to recognize spin and keep his hands and body back. Slap hitter, doesn’t look to drive the ball. Uses his hands well at the plate. Bat will be tested by more advanced pitching.

Power: Well below-average raw power. Not a part of his game. Swing tailored to gap power at most.

Run: Average speed, but plays faster. Quick first step, solid instincts allow speed to play up.

Field: Good range in the outfield. Can cover ground. Needs to continue working on reads. As an infielder had plus range to both sides. Had potential to be a solid-average-to-better defender at second base, but style of play and related injury issues led to move to the outfield.

Arm: Average arm strength. Had plenty of arm for second base when he was an infielder. Now primarily an outfielder, arm does not stand out. Likely best suited for left field.

Career Notes: Had been committed to Southern Cal. Worked out and played for a college development program run by Nomar Garciaparra's brothers Ramon and Michael. Has had significant injury issues throughout his career; career high in games played is 65 in 2018. Had multiple DL stints in both 2017 and 2018. Missed most of July and August 2016 after suffering a broken foot, and missed time due to injury after signing in 2015 as well. Participated in 2016 and 2018 Fall Instructional League.

Summation: Significant injury history has limited him throughout his career—almost a lock to spend multiple stints on the injured list in a given season at this point. Health issues have detracted from his development such that his potential is now as a high-minors organizational player. Gritty player, will get the most out of his tools, but playing style can be to his detriment. Runs out everything, leaves it all out on the field. Had to move off of second base, where he was a potential above-average defender, for health reasons, which also limited ceiling.


Marino Campana, outfielder, extended spring training

Physical Description: Tall and lean with long limbs. Has projection remaining, especially in his upper body, where he will need to add strength. Looks the part. 

Hit: Slightly open stance and uses a leg-lift timing device. Long swing with a stiff upper body. Lacks pitch recognition skills, which results in significant swing-and-miss issues, especially on secondary offerings. Rarely walks. Likes to cheat and open his front side early in order to get out in front of fastballs. Average bat speed. Long way to go at the plate. In the early makings of developing an approach, has yet to show the ability to use all fields. 

Power: Plus raw power, mainly to the pull side. Likes the ball middle-in and will make pitchers pay for mistakes, especially on the inner half. Issues with hit tool risk preventing him from getting to his power in games.

Run: Below-average speed. As he physically matures could end up slower than that. 

Field: Lacks athleticism and fluidity in the outfield. Needs to work on reads. Defensive profile best suited for left field. 

Arm: Fringe-average arm. Shows good strength, but poor accuracy. Best suited for left field. 

Career Notes: Participated in the Fall Instructional League in 2018. After beginning year in Salem in 2019, was demoted to Greenville and then again to Extended Spring Training after being overmatched at the plate at both levels.

Summation: Intriguing prospect with a very wide gap between what he is at present and could be in the future. Still very raw, and time is running out for him to begin to develop raw tools into on-field skills. Power is best tool. Has some of the best raw power in the system's low minors. Lack of defensive potential and athleticism put a lot of pressure on his bat. Needs to make significant improvements with his approach and contact skills in order to get out of the low minors, but if he can make strides at the plate, he has upside.

Photo Credit: All by Kelly O'Connor.

Chris Hatfield is Executive Editor of SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @SPChrisHatfield.