Red Sox outfielder Jarren Duran’s improved approach
Last week, I wrote about the need for Jarren Duran to refine his approach this spring. The outfielder has always had the tools to excel at the big-league level, as evident by his 16 home runs and 16 stolen bases at Triple-A last season, but his approach at the plate got exposed upon his call-up last July. Duran fanned 40 times against just four walks, a ratio that got him demoted after just a month in Boston.
For Duran to win a spot on the Opening Day roster, he’s going to need to show marked improvements this spring. From his first at-bat, Duran has looked like a different player, beginning with a new look in the batter’s box in which he is holding his hands much lower than previous seasons. That adjustment appears to have been paying off, as he’s gotten off to a 4-for-9 start in his first five exhibition games. Most importantly, he’s shown a far better approach at the plate, already drawing three walks and punching out just one time.
With Jackie Bradley Jr. coming off a .497 OPS season and only two other left-handed hitters in the lineup, there is a spot to be won for Duran in the Red Sox starting outfield. If he continues to hit the ball like he has this week, expect there to be rumblings that Duran could be the everyday left fielder.