Second baseman Ezequiel Duran was signed by the Yankees as an international free agent on July 2, 2017, for just $10,000 as an 18-year old. Being 18 at the point he signed he was allowed to immediately make his professional debut in the Dominican Summer League.
After signing with the Yankees, Duran was immediately assigned to the Dominican Sumer League Yankees where he appeared in just 15 games. In 61 at-bats he hit .393/.415/.754 with five doubles, four triples, three home runs and 11 runs batted in, while also walking three times.
Duran showcased his incredible power, posting exit velocity numbers over 100 mph. He also saw time at shortstop and second base in the field.
Duran would come to America for spring training 2018, showcasing the incredible power he had in the Dominican Summer League the year prior. With that, the Yankees decided to test him and send him to the Pulaski Yankees in his first season in the USA.
With the Pulaski Yankees, he struggled a bit. He hit just .201/.251/.311 in 68 games at the Rookie-Advanced level. He hit eight doubles, two triples, and four home runs while driving in 20 runs and walking nine times and stealing seven bases.
As mentioned before, Duran posses plus raw power and posted exit velocity numbers as high as 114 mph at times. He projects to stay at second base as he moves through the minors as he isn’t that agile and has a slightly below-average arm and is at best an average runner. He is a bat-first prospect, that will give you passable defense at second.
The Yankees can do one of two things with Duran, who would turn 20 in May 2019. They can continue to push him despite struggling in 2018 and have him start the 2019 season with the Charleston RiverDogs or take it slower and have him return to extended spring training and join the Staten Island Yankees in June.