The Boston Red Sox will be represented at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
USA baseball announced its Olympic list Friday, and a couple of Red Sox prospects created the cut: infielder Triston Casas and outfielder Jack Lopez.
Interestingly, Jarren Duran – considered the top outside prospect in the Red Sox organization – did not make the list even after a impressive display for Team USA at the Olympic qualifications.
MLB Pipeline ranks Casas as the best view in the organization. The 21-year-old sweet swinging first baseman has at times this season put his power on Double-A Portland. He also handled quite well playing for the United States in the qualifying tournament. Power is the name of the game for the first round of 2018, which has 24 home runs and 104 RBIs in 158 professional games.
Lopez, who makes the team, is a bit of a surprise. He is a 28-year-old toolmaker who is not much of a prospect and has yet to make his major league debut after nearly a decade in professional ball. This is his first year in the Red Sox organization after he was signed as a minor league free agent in January. The Royals took him out of high school in the 16th round of the 2011 draft. He quietly has a lovely season with Triple-A Worcester, hitting .348 with a couple of home runs and seven stolen bases. He is likely to be an in-depth opportunity for the Americans as he can play shortstop, third base and second base and has even played a bit out during his professional career.
As for Duran, his absence certainly raises eyebrows. He went 7-for-19 with a double, triple and three runs scored in the four games at the qualifying tournament, so it’s not as if his performance was an issue. This will definitely lead to many questions about whether there will soon be a call-up to the big leagues for the 24-year-old. He has a fantastic season at Worcester and hits 15 home runs in just 39 games so far.
UPDATE (13:15 ET): Boston Globes Alex Speier has a little more information on why Jarren Duran did not appear on the list.