Red Sox fans became frustrated with Jareen Duran in 2022. His offensive output was minimal and his effort on defense dwindled at times. The front office was equally concerned by the former top prospect. He was optioned to Triple-A twice during the second half of that season and was not a lock to make the 2023 Opening Day roster.
Indeed, despite a strong Spring Training in which he accrued a .455 OBP and walked more than he struck out, Duran opened 2023 at Triple-A. Within three weeks, though, he was promoted to the majors and instantly went on a tear. The former seventh-round pick slashed .396/.415/.646 with two stolen bases in April.
Duran ultimately finished 15th in the American League in doubles (34) and 13th in stolen bases (24). He also made enormous strides defensively, increasing his UZR from -7.1 in 2022 to -1.7 in 2023. He looked far more comfortable in center field and at the plate.
However, there is still a chance that Duran gets traded. The Boston outfield has suddenly become quite crowded. Verdugo has an everyday role and Masataka Yoshida will patrol left field when he’s not at designated hitter. Rob Refsnyder, Ceddanne Rafaela, and Wilyer Abreu will also figure into the equation, making it hard to find a steady role for Duran.