Portland’s Jarren Duran bunts for a single against New Hampshire on June 24 at Hadlock Field. In his last 18 games, Duran is batting .360 with 10 stolen bases in 11 attempts. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

He is settling in, and that is a good thing for the Portland Sea Dogs and the Boston Red Sox.

Jarren Duran is putting up gaudy numbers again.

Duran, 22, can hit a baseball and, once he does, it becomes a track meet.

The swift Duran has zipped through the Red Sox minor league system since he was a seventh-round draft pick last year. He forced a promotion to Double-A Portland on June 3 by batting .387 in 50 games for advanced Class A Salem.

Since the Sea Dogs became a Red Sox affiliate in 2004, only two everyday players have reached Double-A faster – Dustin Pedroia, who began the 2005 season in Portland after being drafted in the second round in 2004; and Andrew Benintendi, who reached Hadlock Field on May 16, 2016, after he was the No. 7 overall pick in 2015. They both flew through the Red Sox system, with Benintendi reaching the majors the same year as his promotion to Portland.

Duran seemed to hit a wall when he joined the Sea Dogs. In his first 40 games, he was batting .208 with five doubles, no home runs and 12 steals in 17 tries.


“I think he got a little excited in his first at-bats,” Oliver said.

In other words, Duran may have been trying to do too much.

In his next 18 games heading into Saturday night, however, Duran was 27 for 75 (.360 average) with four doubles, a home run and 10 stolen bases in 11 tries.

“He’s settled in and seeing quality pitches,” Oliver said. “He’s making good adjustments, not being so overanxious.”

It’s a small sample, but Duran appears to be going in the right direction.

“Baseball is a game of adjustments,” Duran said. “Every day is something new you have to work on.”


Duran said the low batting average was not getting to him.

“I always try to put my numbers aside,” he said. “I don’t really like looking up at the scoreboard (which shows the player’s batting average when they come to bat).

“It would be nice if they didn’t put the numbers up there so I can feel like I’m 0 for 0 every at-bat.”

Duran sounds the same as he did during an interview in May when he was batting in the high .300s for Salem.

“When you start thinking about it, you put extra pressure on yourself,” Duran said at the time.

Oliver and others commented on how grounded Duran is. That will serve him well as he moves closer to Fenway.


Duran has been compared to a former Sea Dogs and Red Sox center fielder – Jacoby Ellsbury. He’s also Boston’s best outfield prospect.

The Red Sox seem set in their outfield for now, with Benintendi, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Mookie Betts. But both Bradley and Betts can become free agents after the 2020 season. Boston would like to re-sign both, but if they can’t …

Duran is getting close to being ready as an outfielder. Duran was a second baseman for Long Beach State and played 20 games at second for the Lowell Spinners, but the Red Sox wanted to make the most of Duran’s speed and moved him to center field. While he adjusts there, he already has shown an ability to run down balls – shallow, deep or in the gap.

“He’s playing a better outfield, come a long way,” Oliver said.

Offensively, the left-handed Duran uses his speed well, especially with bunts toward the second baseman. He’s also become better at chasing strikes.

“That’s what you want to see,” Sea Dogs hitting coach Lee May Jr. said. “He (maxed) out of the A-ball level, and he had to get acclimated and figure it out at the Double-A level.


“He’s starting to put things together, taking the next steps he needs to take as a hitter,

“These are the attributes you want to see … There’s going to be adjustments at the next levels. He’s doing things the right way.”

When a player reaches the Double-A level as fast as Duran has, the expectations from fans can get out of hand (and, admittedly, Benintendi spoiled fans with his quick ascension – although he hit .203 through his first 19 games for the Sea Dogs).

Duran knows he is getting closer to the majors. He also knows he’s not ready yet.

“It’s an everyday struggle, especially being up here with this competition,” Duran said. “I have to come to the field every day and be ready to work.”

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