Duran homers twice to open new stadium

May 11th, 2021

Jarren Duran appears to feel right at home at Polar Park, home of the Triple-A Worcester Red Sox.

Boston’s third-ranked prospect helped ring in Polar Park with a pair of homers in the Red Sox 8-5 win over Syracuse. On the same day the club opened a new stadium, Duran put his stamp on the game, going 2-for-5 with three RBIs.

The outfielder took a while to get going this season as he began the year with an 0-for-11 skid, but once he broke through in the hit column, it’s been nearly impossible to get him out. Duran is 8-for-17 over his past four games and has multiple hits in three of those contests. And Tuesday's performance followed a similar script.

After going hitless in his first two at-bats, the 24-year-old outfielder hit a two-run blast to right-center field in the fifth for his second homer of the season.

In his next trip to the plate, MLB Pipeline’s No. 97 overall prospect flexed his muscle again with a solo blast in the seventh before striking out in his final at-bat of the evening.

"His work, his approach, if he's consistent and he gets pitches to hit, he's gonna hit home runs no matter where he plays," WooSox manager Billy McMillon said. "So as far as how Polar Park fits his swing, I think the jury's still out. But I think he is developing into a pretty good hitter, and I think a lot of ballparks are going to have trouble keeping him in if he's right."

The two-homer game was the first of Duran’s career as the 2018 seventh-round pick is typically known for his plus-plus speed. Duran, who stole 70 total bases in 2018 and 2019, began the season with just eight career homers.

While power hasn’t been a huge part of his game, Duran has hit consistently since entering pro ball. He hit .357 in his 2018 professional debut and followed that up with a .303 average over 132 games in 2019.

He then continued to make strides during the 2020 season while working out at Boston's alternate training site and carried that momentum into the Puerto Rican Winter League, when he won the MVP award in the playoffs with a .400/.500/.640 slash line in the Caribbean Series.

While Duran -- and the opening of a new stadium -- garnered the headlines, the Red Sox weren’t short on power Tuesday as Marcus Wilson and Josh Ockimey also homered in the victory.