Jarren Duran is electric
Jun 07, 2023
By Michael Hurley
August 2, 2023 / 10:27 AM / CBS Boston
BOSTON -- Chaim Bloom had another whimper of a trade deadline, leaving a lackluster feeling around Boston on Tuesday afternoon. Yet while the chief baseball officer may not believe the 2023 team is worth investing in, the wind was not taken out of the sails of Jarren Duran before Tuesday night's game in Seattle.
The 26-year-old added another unique highlight to his reel when he once again showed off his rare blend of raw speed and creative base running on the big league stage.
This time, it came in the top of the fifth, with the Red Sox leading 3-1. Down 0-2 in the count, Duran turned on an inside fastball from Bryce Miller, lacing a single between the first and second baseman for a base hit. Or so everybody thought.
With right fielder Dominic Canzone playing deep toward the warning track, Duran's eyes widened as he took a sharp turn at first base while deciding to stretch this single into a double. Canzone got to the ball around the same time that Duran hit first base, and he fired a strike to second base to try to beat the runner. Duran, though, was just too fast, sliding in safely for a rather uncommon two-bagger.
How many people in your entire life have you ever seen turn this routine base hit into a double? pic.twitter.com/FZJB8oMrai
NESN color commentator Will Middlebrooks, who's seen quite a bit of baseball in his life, couldn't help but laugh out loud after seeing that display from Duran. Suffice it to say, the lightning bolt batting gloves are an appropriate choice.
As it turned out, the extra base wasn't needed, per se, as Alex Verdugo came up next and homered, allowing Duran to lightly jog the rest of the way around the bases.
Still, it was merely the latest evidence that Duran possesses a special level of speed. He also turned on the jets to make an inning-ending catch to prevent a Seattle run from scoring in the bottom of the sixth.
That's just Jarren. pic.twitter.com/XiQ5mFxSE8
One night earlier, Duran stole second base ... and scored.
JUST JARREN DURAN THINGS. pic.twitter.com/5Z53WLucnz
That happens every 36 years or so.
According to @EliasSports, Jarren Duran became the first Red Sox player to score on a play he stole 2nd base since Ellis Burks on July 31, 1987, exactly 36 years ago to the day. pic.twitter.com/mLGFrkLbLB
Occasionally, Duran's hyper-aggressiveness backfires, like when he got gunned down at the plate in the first inning against the Mets a couple of weekends ago, but the net results have been a major positive this season.
After Tuesday's hit, Duran now has 32 doubles in 86 games this season. He's tied for third in Major League Baseball in doubles, despite playing in 19 fewer games than the league leaders. He's just four behind Freddie Freeman for the league lead, despite Freeman taking a whopping 134 more at-bats this season. He's also one behind Matt Chapman for second (98 more at-bats than Duran), and he's tied with Christian Walker (105 more at-bats).
He's stolen 23 bases, which ranks seventh in the AL, while getting caught just twice (though one was a pickoff). Though his 311 plate appearances leave him unqualified for the league leaders, he ranks sixth in the AL with an .865 OPS among players with at least 300 plate appearances.
Overall, Duran has benefited from some good luck, as his .407 BABIP will attest. But certain elements of his game have nothing at all to do with good fortune. Tuesday's hustle double would qualify as one of them.
The speed has been evident since Duran first burst onto the big league scene in 2021 ...
Jarren Duran can FLY. 🏃♂️💨 pic.twitter.com/mPft5I4inq
... and the play when he scored from second on a routine flyout in 2022 spring training offered a glimpse into this rare ability on the base paths.
Jarren Duran just tagged and scored from 2nd on a fly ball to center. 😱Unreal speed. pic.twitter.com/QZNHQRSAdd
The difference in those seasons, though, was that Duran was far from a complete player. Despite the speed, his defense was shaky, and he had a .622 OPS combined in 2021 and 2022. This year, he's putting it all together. And the end result more often than not is pure electricity.
First published on August 2, 2023 / 10:27 AM
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