Friday, February 15, 2019

2019 Phillies Prospects Countdown: #21 Catcher Rodolfo Duran

Rodolfo Duran, image- Jay Floyd
Catcher Rodolfo Duran made some big impressions last season and finds himself earning recognition among the Phillies' top rising prospects.  The righty batting Dominican helped lead the remarkable pitching staff for the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws and was a considerable contributor to that team's offense.

Signed as an international free agent in 2014 at age 16, Duran made his professional debut in 2015 with the rookie level Gulf Coast League Phillies.  In 36 games there, the five-foot-nine 181-pounder posted a .185 batting average with three doubles, a triple and 10 RBI.

The following year, Duran repeated the GCL, appearing in a pair of games with Class A short-season Williamsport.  In 34 combined games, he batted .315 while slamming three home runs and driving in 14 runs.

In 2017 the Santo Domingo native sported a .252 average with nine doubles, three triples and six RBI in 48 games with Williamsport.

Last year he made the jump to Class A Lakewood, where he had a breakout season.  Showing big improvements in the power department, he pounded 18 home runs.  Duran also notched a .260 average with 48 RBI through 88 games. 

In June, he hit .397 with seven homers and was named South Atlantic League Player of the Month for his efforts. 

He homered in back to back games five times during his BlueClaws campaign, including June 27-29 when he launched round-trippers in three consecutive contests. 

Duran also added three more homers during the BlueClaws' postseason run, in which they were runners up for the league championship.

The Lakewood pitching staff that Duran handled recorded a league-best 2.74 season ERA and many of the team's hurlers credited their battery mates for much of the success.

Defensively, Duran, who turns 21 years old this month, stands out as a sniper for opposing base runners.  After erasing 48% of potential base stealers in 2017, he threw out 39 of 93 (42%) with Lakewood last year, which was the highest percentage among qualified catchers and he threw out the most runners of anyone in the Sally League.

At the plate, Duran will need to improve his efforts against lefties, as he posted an OPS of just .472 against southpaws in 2018 in 98 at bats.  An .866 OPS at Lakewood's FirstEnergy Park, which has a reputation as being favorable to pitchers, shows loads of promise, however.


Duran should be expected to move up a level and start the 2019 season at Class A Advanced Clearwater.  The future is bright for the youngster, especially if he can iron out the concerns at the plate.

Track this year's complete Phillies prospects countdown by clicking this link.

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