Jarren Duran finally put it all together at the big-league level, consistently giving the Red Sox dazzling performances with his dynamic skillset.

Duran had a breakout season in 2023 before a toe injury cut that run short. Now in 2024, Duran is back to his playmaking self for the Red Sox, entering Saturday slashing .280/.347/.478 for an .824 OPS. Duran still regularly makes plays with his legs, stealing 19 bases and tallying 38 extra-base hits already this season.

Duran got off to a quick start Saturday against the Cincinnati Reds, leading off the game with a single to extend his hitting streak to 12 games. The Boston outfielder moved from left field to center field later in the game as Alex Cora mixed and matched with his bench. That became important in the late innings when Duran made his impact.

On the bases in the top of the eighth inning, Duran went first to third when Rob Refsnyder singled home Ceddanne Rafaela to tie the game at three. Later in the frame, Duran scored on a sacrifice fly on a shallow fly ball to left from Rafael Devers, forcing the lead with his speed.

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“Not many people would think about running at third base with how shallow that was,” Refsnyder told Jahmai Webster during NESN’s postgame coverage. “That’s just a testament of how hard Jarren works and how fast he is.”

It’s those types of plays that Cora believes separate the Red Sox with their ability to change the game with athleticism as Duran did on Saturday.

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“I don’t see us struggling for long stretches because we can do that on a daily basis,” Cora told reporters, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “We can steal a game. Athleticism-wise, we did tonight.”

Boston entered the bottom of the ninth inning with the lead after Duran’s run. He ensured that it stayed that way when he timed his jump perfectly at the center field wall to take back a home run from Cincinnati’s Stuart Fairchild with one out to ultimately preserve the win for the Red Sox.

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“Just make some plays for the team and help us win,” Duran told reporters, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “… I know he hit it pretty good, so I knew I needed to get back to the wall. I took a quick glance of where the wall was when I got to it. Just broke down and was gonna try to make a play on the wall. I just happened to make the play.”

Both Cora and Duran thought the ball was a home run off Fairchild’s bat. Instead, Duran made one of the season’s best defensive plays for the Red Sox.

Cora praised Duran for his growth at the MLB level and for being able to be a catalyst for his team. One would think that would put the outfielder in conversations for the 2024 All-Star Game given his production.

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Instead, the first phase of voting results show Duran outside of the top 20 among outfielders. While the Midsummer Classic is just under a month away, those around the Red Sox hope to see a different result.

“If Jarren Duran isn’t an All-Star, that’s messed up,” Refsnyder said. “He’s an unbelievable ballplayer. When he goes, our team goes.”

Featured image via Albert Cesare /The Cincinnati Enquirer/USA TODAY Sports Images