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Jarren Duran Arrives, Jarred Kelenic Returns

Jarren Duran

Jarren Duran

Ashley Green / Telegram & Gazette via Imagn Content Services, LLC

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After sending a league-high five representatives to the MLB All-Star Game at Coors Field earlier this week, the Red Sox’ loaded lineup will receive a considerable boost on Thursday evening with top prospect Jarren Duran being promoted to make his major-league debut in the team’s second-half opener against the division-rival Yankees. A massive swing overhaul has enabled the 24-year-old outfielder to unlock hidden over-the-fence pop, and blossom into a truly dynamic power/speed offensive force, slashing .270/.365/.561 with 15 homers and 12 stolen bases across 219 plate appearances at Triple-A Worcester this season. He’s expected to take over as the Red Sox everyday center fielder moving forward, with versatile veteran Enrique Hernandez transitioning to second base, replacing injured super-utility specialist Marwin Gonzalez. Duran projects as an immediate top-of-the-order catalyst, with the potential to make a significant impact in the runs scored and stolen base departments, thanks to his plate skills, plus-plus speed and a truly sublime surrounding cast. There’s some legitimate risk in his offensive profile, as the dramatic swing change has introduced a bit more swing-and-miss to his game, which could become problematic at the highest level. Yet, he’s one of the most exciting prospects in the entire baseball landscape, and should be rostered in all fantasy formats moving forward.[[ad:athena]]

Meanwhile, the resurgent Mariners unexpectedly find themselves on the periphery of the playoff picture coming out of the All-Star break, and are expected to recall top prospect Jarred Kelenic ahead of Friday’s series opener against the Angels. The supremely-talented 21-year-old outfielder looked completely overmatched, and struggled mightily in his first exposure to major-league pitching, slashing .096/.185/.193 with two homers and three steals across 92 plate appearances earlier this season. He’s bounced-back in the upper minors, tearing the cover off the ball over the last few weeks, hitting .306/.386/.622 with seven homers and four stolen bases across 114 plate appearances at Triple-A Tacoma. With Jake Fraley, Taylor Trammell and Shed Long Jr. struggling at the plate recently, he should take over as the team’s primary left fielder for the remainder of the regular season. Given his elite plate skills, and off-the-charts power/speed combo potential, Kelenic could wind up evolving into a massive five-category difference-maker for fantasy managers over the final two-plus months of the 2021 campaign. Writing him off completely after a terrible 23-game big-league stint would be a colossal mistake. Clearly, he should be rostered in all fantasy formats moving forward.

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MLB Quick Hits: Angels signed OF Adam Eaton to a major-league contract … MLB and the MLB Players Association agreed Tuesday to extend Trevor Bauer’s administrative leave until July 27.