The Jarren Duran dynamic is an interesting one, a notion that was reinforced Monday night.
The 23-year-old got a chance to offer what is most likely a glimpse into the future, expertly manning center field during the Red Sox' intrasquad scrimmage while also rifling a pair of hits.
It was likely the only introduction Duran will have to Fenway this season, with the outfielder primarily living life as an extra in Pawtucket. But considering the potential turnover looming in the outfield in 2021 -- with Jackie Bradley Jr. slated to become a free agent after this season -- the brief glimpse was a notable one.
"It was surreal," Duran said. "I couldn’t stop looking around when I was in the outfield. I had to pay attention sometimes because I was just looking around, realizing I’m playing at Fenway."
"I say he’s a ways off but because of his talent, if you put it together, there’s no reason why he can’t come quick," said Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke. "He does so many things well that you never know. It could take a while, but he could figure it out and if he figures it out, he’s going to be some kind of player."
Before there is an immediate assumption that Duran will seamlessly enter the big leagues sooner rather than later, there are reminders that this could still be a process. After tearing up Single-A, Duran took some time to acclimate himself to Double-A pitching in 2019. And after a red-hot start in Grapefruit League action this year, better pitching forced the lefty hitter into a late-spring training slump.
Duran ended up with six hits, three walks and a home run (.792 OPS) in 27 plate appearances during Spring Training 1.0.
Still, Monday night certainly did nothing to alter the narrative regarding Duran's candidacy for a spot in 2021.