Jarren Duran brings electricity and advocacy to the Red Sox lineup

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Boston Red Sox outfielder Jarren Duran is off to the best start of his career. He's been playing with a chip on his shoulder because he feels like he has something to prove.

After a disappointing 2022 season that included a demotion back to the minors, Duran found himself dealing with mental health struggles and trying to navigate some extreme low points. It wasn’t until just recently that Duran opened up about those struggles.

“To the mental demons that almost got me I say F*ck ‘Em! Cause we still alive,” the outfielder wrote on Instagram.

Duran has recently been pictured with a similar message drawn on his wrist tape. The speed merchant writes "still alive" on his arm each day to serve as a reminder of his progress regarding his mental health.

Jarren Duran brings energy to the Red Sox lineup while speaking out about his mental health struggles

”I did it last year, but nobody really saw it,” Duran said to WEEI. “It’s just a personal thing to remind me of the stuff I have gone through mentally. Just saying ‘F*ck ‘em’ they can’t win, I’m still here.'"

In Duran's breakout 2023 season, he batted .295 with eight home runs and 40 RBI and he legged out 34 doubles, two triples, and 24 stolen bases in 102 games. Duran has cemented himself as the Red Sox leadoff man in Alex Cora’s offense and is off to an exceptional start.

Through the first nine games of this season, Duran is batting .378/.439/.459 with a .898 OPS. The outfielder is an on-base machine and he's been wreaking havoc on the base paths — he's swiped six bags in his nine outings. Duran set a Red Sox franchise record by stealing five bases through the team’s first five games.

At the leadoff spot, Duran has provided a solid spark in a lineup that has subjectively struggled to get going so far in 2024. He’s hitting the ball the opposite way, getting on base by any means necessary, and flying around the bases like a man possessed.

Duran is coming into his own and playing at the level of excellence that Red Sox ownership and skipper Cora knew was there all along. All the while, he's raising awareness for mental health care to show that anything is possible with the right amount of help. And Duran has a message for people everywhere dealing with mental health issues of their own.

"I know a lot of people have reached out to me through Instagram saying how it is an inspiration to them," Duran said. "If they are reading this or hearing this, they are more than welcome to reach out to me because I know what they are going through and I support them."

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