By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — The Red Sox lead the majors in team OPS, runs scored, doubles, and hits. Their offense is … potent.
But it could always be better. And when taking a quick glance at the team’s American League rankings in outfield OPS — 10th in right field, ninth in left field, sixth in center field — that would seem to be one potential area for an upgrade.
Enter Jarren Duran?
A top prospect in the Red Sox system, the 24-year-old Duran has been on a tear since the Triple-A season began for the Worcester Red Sox in their inaugural season. That was accentuated by an absolute bomb hit in Worcester on Thursday night:
Duran hits a 95 mph fastball 440' pic.twitter.com/F7NC4NHceC
— Red Sox Stats (@redsoxstats) May 14, 2021
That home run was Duran’s fourth in nine games this season but his third in three days, as he helped open Polar Park with a pair of dingers on Tuesday afternoon.
Duran has homered again pic.twitter.com/lGJScnf2oo
— Red Sox Stats (@redsoxstats) May 11, 2021
Jarren Duran powered up for the @WooSox, christening Polar Park with a pair of homers. 💪💪
— Minor League Baseball (@MiLB) May 12, 2021
His other home run this year was a bullet, too:
WooSox OF Jarren Duran crushes this one in last night’s 8-6 win. Duran is 6 for 9 in his last two games. pic.twitter.com/doTEnVBYMJ
— WooSox Watch (@WooSoxWatch) May 9, 2021
The homers obviously produce the highlight clips, but Duran has been on an overall tear since starting the season 0-for-11 in his first three games. In the six games since then, he’s hit .458 with a 1.536 OPS, hitting the four homers with a double and four walks. He’s also 1-for-2 in stolen base attempts, and he’s created a little bit of mayhem on the base paths, as well:
Amusing Duran baserunning pic.twitter.com/GRMYaXKaOz
— Red Sox Stats (@redsoxstats) May 9, 2021
This early-season surge came after Duran was mightily impressive in spring training. In 24 games (49 plate appearances), Duran hit .340 with six doubles, a triple, and three home runs for a 1.069 OPS.
Certainly, the seventh-round draft pick out of Long Beach State from 2018 has turned a lot of heads in a short period of time. And with Franchy Cordero struggling mightily in the majors (.150 batting average, .397 OPS in 87 plate appearances, plus a couple of outfield errors already), fans will be eager to see Duran get his first shot at helping the big league club sooner than later.
While that call-up may not exactly be in the plans just yet for Duran, if he continues to be as hot at the plate as he’s been for the past week, the Red Sox will eventually have no choice but to give him that chance.