Boston Red Sox center fielder Jarren Duran had himself an eventful seventh inning Sunday afternoon at Kauffman Stadium (GameTracker). In the span of three batters, Duran dropped two fly balls, made a diving catch, then argued with some hecklers in the center field stands.
In fairness to Duran, it appeared the lost the first fly ball in the sun, and the second was a difficult play up against the wall. Still, it was a play a major league center fielder should make. Here’s the entire sequence:
Jarren Duran is having an interesting 7th inning
Duran, you may recall, was in center field or Raimel Tapia’s inside-the-park grand slam last month. He lost that ball in the lights, then didn’t hustle after it because Alex Verdugo was going to get to the ball first. Sensible, I suppose, but also a pretty terrible look.
Arguing with fans is also a terrible look. Even if hecklers direct truly vile, offensive stuff your way, it’s on the player to keep his cool and ignore it. It’s not easy, I know, but nothing good — I mean nothing — comes from confronting fans. Let security do its thing and let cooler heads prevail.
Earlier this week the Red Sox released Jackie Bradley Jr., their longtime ballhawk, in part so they could give Duran a look in center field. The 25-year-old took a .225/.275/.375 line with a 28.1 percent strikeout rate into Sunday’s game. He hit .305/.379/.531 in 43 Triple-A games earlier this year.
Boston is currently in last place in the AL East, so while Bradley is more likely to have caught the balls Duran dropped Sunday, the smart move is finding out what you have in the young player. That said, the growing pains are never pretty.