December 1st, 2011
2012 marks the RoughRiders’ 10th season as a franchise, all as the Rangers’ Double-A affiliate. Since 2003, there have been hundreds of talented players come through Dr Pepper Ballpark, but some have stood out more than others. With the help of Michael Damman, the RoughRiders’ Director of Statistical Research, we’ve come up with the All-’Riders Team: the best player at each position in franchise history. Today we continue with the RoughRiders’ all-time best second baseman.
Michael Damman’s Take:
One of the integral parts of Frisco’s 2007 Texas League-best 85 win team, German Duran had a superb season as the RoughRiders’ starting second baseman. Duran paced the team with a .300 average, 22 home runs, 84 runs driven in, 144 hits, 81 runs, and a .525 Slugging %. Only Brandon Boggs had a higher OPS than Duran’s .877 on the 2007 ‘Riders with at least 300 plate appearances. Duran was also one of only four qualified players in the Texas League that season to hit .300 or better. He got off to a solid start in April that season and never let up until August. From May through July, Duran had three consecutive months with a .900 or better OPS. At the Texas League all-star break, Duran was batting .328 with a .960 OPS. Furthermore, few players have been as clutch as Duran, as the second baseman hit .347 with runners on and .366 with runners in scoring position.
The ultimate run producer, he had four different streaks of games where he drove in a run in 4 consecutive games, including a season-high of six straight from June 16th to June 23rd. Left-handed pitchers beaware, Duran faced southpaws 155 times in 2007 and he had 21 extra base hits, including 11 home runs. Duran’s 144 hits in 2007 were the 5th most in a single season by a RoughRider. German reached the major leagues in 2008 with the Rangers and hit just .231 with a .275 on base percentage and a .350 slugging percentage in 158 plate appearances. Since then, Duran has played in just 144 games over the last 3 seasons, including just 16 plate appearances in the Mexican League this season for the Leones de Yucaton.
When Duran was having his terrific 2007 season, I was broadcasting for the Gateway Grizzlies of the Frontier League in Sauget, IL. Needless to say, I never had the pleasure of watching him here at Dr Pepper Ballpark. I’m sure lots of people probably think of Ian Kinsler as the club’s best second baseman, but in reality, he played all 71 of his games in Frisco as a shortstop.
I remember seeing Duran play in 2010 as a member of the Corpus Christi Hooks. Although he played primarily at second base for the Hooks, he also spent time as third and short. Overall he hit .284 in 64 games with four home runs and 28 RBIs. Maybe most memorable for me about Duran in Corpus was the way the Hooks’ public address announcer used to pronounce his came, “Her-maaahn Dooo-raaahn.”
You can read more from Michael Damman on his Rangers’ minor league blog, Chatter From the Pressbox. You can also follow him on twitter @pressboxchatter.
Up Next: Third Base