Jarren Duran owned Rays catcher after remembering minor league habit

Boston Red Sox v Tampa Bay Rays
Boston Red Sox v Tampa Bay Rays / Douglas P. DeFelice/GettyImages

Jarren Duran was the star of the Boston Red Sox's May 21 win against the Tampa Bay Rays. His second homer of the season followed by a steal of home secured Boston's first series win at Tropicana Field since 2019.

Duran's steal of home looked familiar. The outfielder is known for his athleticism and his ability to steal bases at a high clip, and Duran is no stranger to thieving runs.

Late in the 2022 minor league season, Duran stole home to tack on an insurance run for the Worcester Red Sox against the Yankees Triple-A affiliate, the RailRiders. The catcher at the plate was Ben Rortvedt, who was traded from the Yankees organization to the Rays through a three-team deal that sent Jon Berti to New York late in the 2023-24 offseason.

Duran stole home on Rortvedt again on May 21. Rortvedt looked right at Duran as he took his lead from third base in 2022, but the speed merchant was too fast for the RailRiders to catch. The catcher didn't learn his lesson — never take eyes off Duran.

Red Sox Jarren Duran has stolen home with Ben Rortvedt behind the plate on two occasions

Rafael Devers helped Duran get the job done in Tampa Bay. The third baseman isn't known for his speed, but he took off from first base in the eighth inning of a one-run game to give Duran the window he needed to steal home.

After his heroics against Tampa Bay, Duran's manager Alex Cora called him a "perfect player" for modern baseball. He's fast, he's consistent with the bat, he can hit out of the park and his a recently excellent defender.

Duran is batting .271/.342/.462 with two homers, 13 doubles and a league-leading eight triples — 17 teams haven't hit eight triples all season. He's registered six outs above average and 11 defensive runs saved.

Duran's name came up in trade discussions multiple times over the offseason and the outfielder has proved that it was in Boston's best interest to keep him around. He's one of the most electric players on the team and he's come through for the Sox when they needed him most, especially on the base path.

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