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Duran looking forward to Futures Game
"It was a big honor," said Duran. "I was really excited when they told me that I was going to the Texas League All-Star Game."
Not only did Duran participate in the game – going 0-for-2 – he was also chosen for the home run derby competition.
At just 5-foot-10, the infielder would seem like an unlikely winner, but Duran smacked 16 home runs en route to his victory.
"It was a lot of fun, but it was very tiring too," said Duran. "I took a lot of swings. But it was fun and it felt really good winning it. I didn't think I was going to win it. There were a lot of guys that were hitting a bunch of home runs throughout the rounds. It felt good winning it and showing that I can play with anybody."
Duran also says he went into the event with a strategy.
"I was trying to get something inside so I could pull it over the fence," he said. "The wind was blowing out, so I wanted to get something I could drive to left field and hope the wind would take the rest."
Though the Texas League All-Star honor was not exactly a shock, Duran's recent nomination to play for the World team in next week's MLB Futures Game at AT&T Park in San Francisco was a bit surprising. In just his second full year in professional baseball, Duran wasn't on most experts' prospect radars before the season began. The Zacatecas, Mexico, native is ecstatic about the opportunity to play in the game.
"It was really overwhelming for me and my family," explained Duran. "Especially since this is just my second full season and my first year in Double-A. For me to get that honor, it's something you can't really explain. It makes you feel that you belong here and you're not so worried about what other people think about you. I feel like I've proven I can play here."
Duran and his family moved to Fort Worth shortly after he was born. Though he didn't live in Mexico for long, the infielder is happy to be representing his native country.
"I'm not surprised," said Duran when asked if he was surprised he would be playing for the World team. "I didn't really know how that worked. I just feel like wherever you or your parents are from, you should play for that country and honor your country whenever you can. That's what they did and I'm real excited to do it. I'm going to try to get a win, so we'll see how that goes."
After the Futures Game is finished, Duran will re-join the RoughRiders in their quest for their second Texas League championship. Duran believes he must work to stay strong throughout the long season.
"I want to stay consistent, keep hitting the ball hard, and stay healthy and strong," said Duran of his goals for the rest of the season. "The season is getting longer and my body is starting to get tired, so I need to do something to keep my body strong and go out there and be as consistent as I can be. I'm going to try to help the team win and hopefully win a championship."
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