Red Sox

‘The dynamic player we envisioned’: How Jarren Duran has helped ignite the Red Sox

"This is what we want."

Jarren Duran dives toward first base against the Guardians. Nick Cammett/Getty Images

Alex Cora has seen glimpses of Jarren Duran’s potential, and now the Red Sox manager is watching Duran put everything together and play a pivotal role in the club’s ascension.

The speedy outfielder finished 4-for-5 with a double, RBI, and two steals in a 4-2 win over the Cleveland Guardians on Saturday. Duran became the first Red Sox player with at least four hits and two steals in a game since Jacoby Ellsbury in 2011, according to Boston Sports Info.

Duran’s average is up to .319 and his OPS is .862. He’s reached base in 10 of his last 12 games. He’s 4-for-4 on stolen base attempts, leads the Red Sox in triples with two, and is ranked in Major League Baseball’s 93rd percentile in sprint speed.

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“He’s been really good,” Cora said. “The dynamic player we envisioned.”

Last year, Cora said, there was buzz about calling Duran up because he was hitting home runs.

Cora said it’s funny how there hasn’t been as much talk this year and now he’s making the most of his opportunity. He credited him for running the bases, being an athlete, and not trying to do too much.

“This is what we want,” Cora said. “We want a guy that can go the other way, hitting line drives, putting the ball in play, and putting pressure on the opposition. That’s the best version of him.”

Duran, who had just two steals in 33 games last year, said he decided he had to be more aggressive this season to maximize his skill set. He knew he couldn’t squander the opportunity again if he got another chance.

He remembers J.D. Martinez telling him that he would steal all the time if he had his speed. The message resonated, and he took it to heart.

“I think about that when I get kind of hesitant,” Duran said. “Like, well, J.D. says we would have stole, so I should probably steal some.”

His aggressive approach has paid dividends overall, but there’s still room to grow. He ran into an out at third with Rafael Devers hitting, and Cora explained afterward why Duran will learn from the miscue.

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“With the big boy hitting, you’ve got to be 1000 percent sure, and he knows it,” Cora said. “Obviously, I don’t have that speed, so you never know. It was a good read, but I think you have to manage the game and know when to take chances.”

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