Carlos Duran (minors01)
Carlos A. Duran
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 6' 1", Weight 165 lb.
2000-2002: Braves prospect
Duran debuted in 2000 with Chino Canonico, hitting .306 with 8 home runs. His 48 runs were 5 shy of Venezuelan Summer League leader Gabriel Arriechi and he led the league with six triples. That winter, he was 1 for 5 for the Tiburones de La Guaira. In 2001, he came stateside with the GCL Braves, hitting .304/.349/.412 with 16 steals in 20 tries and a team-high 35 runs. He was 7th in the Gulf Coast League in average, between Ruben Gotay and Bronson Sardinha, tied for 6th with 35 runs and made the All-Star team (joining Elvin Beltre and Carlos Brackley). Baseball America named him the 5th-best prospect in the GCL after Chad Petty, Anderson Hernandez, Bronson Sardinha and Manny Delcarmen. He was just 1 for 15 with a double in winter ball for La Guaira.
In 2002, the young outfielder batted .270/.312/.388 for the Macon Braves. He scored 86 runs, stole 23 bases (caught 17 times) and made 10 errors in the outfield. He led the South Atlantic League with 264 outfield putouts, 10 triples and 533 at-bats. He led Atlanta Braves farmhands in hits (144) and tied Adam Stern for the most triples. He was 4th in the SAL in runs, between Gregor Blanco and Angel Pagan, and 6th in times caught stealing. Baseball America listed him as the SAL's 12th-best prospect, between Edwin Jackson and Ryan Hannaman. He hit .294 and slugged .456 for the Tiburones that winter.
Duran continued to slide backwards in the US, hitting .224/.257/.323 for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. He only stole successfully in 10 of 21 tries. Two positives were his triple total (6, tied with Willy Taveras, Brandon Chaves and Justin Cowan for third in the Carolina League) and his 16 outfield assists (3 shy of league leader Brandon Caraway). He was 6 for 39 (all singles) for La Guaira. In 2004, he hit .261/.295/.372 as a part-timer for Myrtle Beach. He stole 13 bases while only being caught once and he had 11 assists in only 54 games in the outfield. In the Venezuelan League, he played for both La Guaira (11 for 30, 2B, 3B) and the Leones del Caracas (6 for 21).
Duran bounced around the Braves system in 2005, making stops with the Pelicans (12 for 47, 2 2B, 2 SB, 3 BB), Mississippi Braves (.266/.280/.399 in 63 G) and Richmond Braves (6 for 22, 2B, 2 HR). He only drew 7 walks in 81 games for the year. He struggled with Caracas in 2005-2006, going 8 for 46 with a walk and two home runs. In the summer of '06, Duran again failed to reach a double-digit walk total. He played for Mississippi (0 for 5, 2 BB) and Richmond (9 for 30, 2 2B, 3 BB). Let go by Atlanta in May, the former prospect was signed by the Baltimore Orioles and spent the remainder of the summer with the Frederick Keys (.260/.275/.377 in 39 G) and Bowie Baysox (.284/.292/.375 in 20 G). In 2006-2007, he was only 1 for 11 for the Leones.
In 2007, the 24-year-old washed out with Frederick, going 14 for 80 with 6 doubles, 2 home runs, 2 steals and 3 walks. Moving to the Cardenales de Lara in Venezuela, he was 8 for 31 with 4 doubles and a triple that winter.
2008- : Europe
Duran came to Italy in 2008 to play for Nettuno. He put up an unimpressive .233/.309/.366 line, the lone positive being his speed (18 steals, third in the Italian Baseball League and 4 triples, one shy of leader Jorge Nunez). In the 2008 European Cup, he was just 5 for 32 with a double, 3 steals and 4 errors in 7 games (in the Final Four, he went 0 for with an error) but Nettuno still won it all. In 2008-2009, he hit .300/.333/.517 for Lara, one of his best winters yet. He tied for third in the league with four triples, one shy of co-leaders Sam Fuld and Hernan Iribarren.
In the summer of 2009, Duran moved to T&A San Marino. He was much better his second year in Europe, posting a .330/.370/.530 line with 6 home runs, 36 runs and 13 steals (in 19 tries) over 42 games. In the Italian Series, he was 3 for 9 with a double but San Marino lost to Bologna. For the season, he was among the Italian Baseball League leaders in home runs (tied for 5th with Joe Mazzuca and Giuseppe Mazzanti), doubles (8th with 11), runs (tied for 5th with 36, even with Juan Carlos Infante), hits (tied with Jhonny Carvajal for second with 61), average (9th, between native Italians Davide Dallospedale and Filippo Crociati), slugging (4th, trailing Dominicans Eddy Garabito and Juan Camilo and American Rich Austin), steals (4th) and times caught stealing (tied for second). He also fielded .990 in center.
His success carried over into winter ball, as he batted .305/.333/.542 with 5 triples, 4 home runs and 22 RBI in 43 games for Lara. He was second in triples (5 shy of leader Alexi Amarista). In the summer of 2010, the veteran (now a player-coach) put up a .349/.378/.594 line for San Marino, even better than in '09. He led the league in average (.006 over Orlando Muñoz), runs (37, tied for first with Marco Yepez and Stefano De Simoni), hits (61, 9 more than Camilo), homers (6, tied with Carlos Villalobos and Olmo Rosario), RBI (39, 5 ahead of Camilo), OPS (54 points ahead of Muñoz) and slugging (75 points ahead of Rosario). He was also among the leaders in doubles (17, 2nd to Danny González), triples (4, one behind pacesetter Dallospedale) and steals (10, tied for 6th with Garabito, without getting caught once). The lone negative was his walk rate, which lowered his OBP enough that he did not make the league's top 25! Despite his dominant season, he failed to win MVP honors, losing a close race, 31.6% to 30.7% to Muñoz. He was only the fourth Triple Crown winner in Italian history, the first since Roberto Bianchi in 19 years and the first non-Italian. The other winners had been Roberto Gandini (1962), Giorgio Castelli (1974) and Bianchi (1987, 1991).
After two fine seasons in Venezuela and a great summer in Italy, Duran faded with Lara in 2010-2011, going 1 for 12. With San Marino in 2011, he was not as dazzling as 2010, but still productive at .278/.325/.593. He was second in slugging (3 points behind Mario Chiarini) and tied fellow Venezuelan Willie Vasquez for the home run lead (8). He was 11th in OPS, between Josh Phelps and Anthony Granato. He became the first IBL player to successfully defend a home run title in almost 50 years since Gandini did it in 1962-1963. He was named the All-Star center fielder for the year. In the 2011 Italian Series, he batted .294/.286/.441 with 7 runs and 8 RBI in 7 games, including a 2-run homer off Remigio Leal in game 7 as San Marino won it all. He tied Francesco Imperiali for second in the Series in RBI, behind Granato, and he also tied for 4th in runs. He did not play winter ball in Venezuela for the first time in over a decade.