With each passing day, it feels like the Joey Gallo trade with the Yankees from July is tipping more and more in the Texas Rangers‘ favor.
We know how unpopular Gallo was in his first two-plus months with New York due to his various struggles, but for the Rangers, they acquired four prospects, all of whom have a chance to impact the big league club down road. One of them, pitcher Glenn Otto, has already contributed to the Texas Rangers.
The other three prospects, INFs Josh Smith and Ezequiel Duran, along with INF/OF Trevor Hauver, are probably at least a year or two away from arriving in Arlington, but they all are incredibly promising. But especially Duran, who we’ll be profiling in this piece.
Keep an eye on Texas Rangers’ prospect Ezequiel Duran, who’s mashing in the Arizona Fall League
Duran, 22, was regarded as arguably the best asset coming to the Texas Rangers in the Gallo deal and he currently slots in as the seventh-ranked prospect in the system, just behind fellow infielder Josh Smith.
Splitting time between the Yankees’ High-A affiliate in Hudson Valley and the Rangers’ Hickory, Duran had a combined .788 OPS, but just a .695 OPS with Hickory.
It appears he’s turned a corner with the bat in the Arizona Fall League, however, as he’s slashing .536 in his last six games and leads the league in triples, total bases and extra base hits.
Scouts believe Duran has 20-20 potential, typically a measure of a dynamic and productive player. If he keeps at or near his AFL pace, we can certainly see what they’re talking about.
The extra base power and triples speed are both very encouraging developments on Duran’s part. He grades above average in those categories and is smooth with the glove, though it’s believed he will eventually move to second base due to lack of arm strength.
If Ezequiel Duran can turn into that 20-20 player he’s projected to be, he will likely be the most impactful piece acquired in the Joey Gallo deal by the Texas Rangers. There was a reason he was the headliner, after all, and this Arizona Fall League tear Duran is on should make everyone feel good about his potential.
Seeing these prospects thrive post-trade has only sweetened the trade since it was made last July. Now we can only sit back and watch their progressions over the next few years. But pay a little closer attention to Ezequiel Duran as you do so.