2012 player preview: Luis Durango

Written by Joe Lucia on .

The Braves signed Luis Durango this offseason as a minor league free agent, and invited him to spring camp. Looking at Durango's skills overall, he reminds me a lot of someone else that will be in camp, but on the 40-man roster: Jose Constanza. Durango has gotten brief cups of coffee in the majors over the last three seasons with the Padres and Astros, and has really only shown two skill: speed, and plate discipline. In his 39 games in the majors, mostly coming in off the bench, Durango has just a .653 OPS, not logging one extra base hit over his 74 plate appearances. However, he's walked seven times (9.5% walk rate) and has stolen seven bases, being caught just once.

Comparing the 25 (soon to be 26) year-old to Constanza's stint in the majors this past year, you get a sense that Durango is a lesser version of Constanza. Constanza received 119 plate appearances last season, his only career major league action, and had a .724 OPS. He walked six times (5.0%), and stole seven bases, but unlike Durango, he was caught four times. Constanza also showed more power than Durango, rapping out four extra base hits, including a pair of homers.

Looking at each player's minor league numbers tells a different story. In AAA last year, Durango had a .640 OPS for the Padres and Astros organizations, while Constanza was at .712. Durango went 28/42 on the basepaths over 108 games, while Constanza went 23/31. Comparing power, Constanza and Durango had the same pathetic ISO of .039. 

Neither guy is ideal for a major league roster, but comparing the two, it looks like Constanza is the better player. With him around, I don't see any reason that the Braves would let Durango get extended playing time in the majors unless Constanza gets hurt. Even then, neither player looks like much of a major league stalwart, and appears to be AAA filler. With the expected promotions of Cory Harrilchak and Mycal Jones to Gwinnett, I don't think Durango will even get a ton of playing time there.

Check out Durango's projection on THT here 
1 comments
baldheaded1der
baldheaded1der

Durango=better fielder. The Braves don't see to look at Constanza as a CF backup.

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