Extreme Makeover: The Jarren Duran Edition

nvalvo

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Another way to express the same thing: Duran’s wOBA is .440, which is magnificent. But Savant’s xwOBA stat thinks he’s “earned” nearly all of that with his quality of contact: .417.
 

Daniel_Son

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Another way to express the same thing: Duran’s wOBA is .440, which is magnificent. But Savant’s xwOBA stat thinks he’s “earned” nearly all of that with his quality of contact: .417.
Savant also shows that he's getting a lot of infield singles, which makes sense with his sprint speed (85th percentile!!) and probably isn't all due to luck.

64085
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Savant also shows that he's getting a lot of infield singles, which makes sense with his sprint speed (85th percentile!!) and probably isn't all due to luck.

View attachment 64085
I'm not sure you're interpreting that chart correctly. I think the marks show where the ball first made contact with the ground, not where it was fielded. I suspect all of those "infield" hits actually went through to the outfield. Particularly the double that is sitting more or less on the first base bag.
 

Daniel_Son

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I'm not sure you're interpreting that chart correctly. I think the marks show where the ball first made contact with the ground, not where it was fielded. I suspect all of those "infield" hits actually went through to the outfield. Particularly the double that is sitting more or less on the first base bag.
Yeah, you're probably right. A double on a ball fielded in front of the first base bag should've tipped me off.

Still, though. Kid's got wheels.
 

SouthernBoSox

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After his home run to center today I asked myself “has he pulled a ball at all this year?”

The answer is basically no. Talk about an extreme up the middle - oppo approach. When he first added power it was very much pull side.

His entire profile is just completely different. Rare to see stuff like this.

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TimScribble

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I’m not as experienced with creating the spray charts, but I assume this is outs as well. Is there a way to only show a chart of hits? Curious many of the low number of pulled actually ended up hits.
 

TimScribble

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Yes! Thank you. Definitely strengthens what SouthernBoSox said, basically 4 hits on pulled balls.
 

walt in maryland

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Here is Duran's 2022 spray chart, outs included. Definitely not as pronounced with the oppo approach.
[/QUOTE
Here is Duran's 2022 spray chart, outs included. Definitely not as pronounced with the oppo approach.
We may see Duran open up and pull some softer stuff with authority. But he is plenty strong enough to do a lot of damage hitting the ball in the middle of the field, with occasional oppo shots. Fenway is made for lefty hitters who can do that.
 

DJnVa

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Gotta love early season SSS, although that's still an impressive list.

 

Red(s)HawksFan

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that makes sense, but none of the singles were ground balls then?

Not trying to be difficult (I don’t have to try), just trying to get a better handle on this
A spray chart reflects where each batted ball first struck the ground (or a glove in the case of outs). It's safe to assume that most if not all base hits that show in the infield actually made it to the outfield, especially if they went for extra bases.
 

SouthernBoSox

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Statcast now has Duran at 85th percentile for OAA this year.
It's really difficult to explain how different he is overall. It's like they acquired a total different player. Swinging at strike, up the middle other way line drives, taking walks, AND - maybe the biggest difference no one is mentioning - plus center field defense.

It's hard to over emphasize how important of a development this has been. Going from have nothing but question marks in center and hoping Ceddanne Rafaela figures it out, they might have a core level center fielder on the cheap for 6 seasons.
 
Apr 6, 2023
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Duran's K rate is still brutal sitting at 30%. It's great that he's hitting the ball much harder when he makes contact, but that K number needs to come down if he's going to sustain being an above average hitter. I don't think we can expect him to continue barreling the ball at an 18% clip.

His K rate in AAA was down in the low 20s so getting it down to 23-25% isn't unreasonable which would help a lot.
Brutal? Many MLB players strike out at a similar rate and do fine. It's the new normal.
 
Apr 6, 2023
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It's really difficult to explain how different he is overall. It's like they acquired a total different player. Swinging at strike, up the middle other way line drives, taking walks, AND - maybe the biggest difference no one is mentioning - plus center field defense.

It's hard to over emphasize how important of a development this has been. Going from have nothing but question marks in center and hoping Ceddanne Rafaela figures it out, they might have a core level center fielder on the cheap for 6 seasons.
Yes. And it beautifully illustrates how often player development is nonlinear. We fans have to stop making snap judgments on young players based on 100 or 200 plate appearances.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Brutal? Many MLB players strike out at a similar rate and do fine. It's the new normal.
I didn’t catch the full game last night as I flipped to the C’s, but there was one PA last night that stood out to me, I guess it must have been his 1st.

Hard throwing pitcher, I think he went down 0-2 immediately, and where last year he probably Ks immediately, he instead worked it to a 2-2 or 3-2 count, fouled off a bunch of pitches, and ended up seeing a good number of pitches to help get Wheeler’s PC up. Ended up with a shallow flyout but the fact that he hung in and ended up getting some decent pitches to hit out of such a pitcher’s count situation felt a lot different than what we had become used to.
 

chrisfont9

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It's really difficult to explain how different he is overall. It's like they acquired a total different player. Swinging at strike, up the middle other way line drives, taking walks, AND - maybe the biggest difference no one is mentioning - plus center field defense.

It's hard to over emphasize how important of a development this has been. Going from have nothing but question marks in center and hoping Ceddanne Rafaela figures it out, they might have a core level center fielder on the cheap for 6 seasons.
Was he doing any of this in the minors? I can't tell from bREF which has pretty basic minor league stats. If it was always in him but just not showing up in the bigs, that's normal. If he was NEVER this guy and some switch came on where he adopted a whole new approach... I mean, that's baseball, but it's still remarkable.
 

YTF

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Yes. And it beautifully illustrates how often player development is nonlinear. We fans have to stop making snap judgments on young players based on 100 or 200 plate appearances.
Yeah we are an impatient lot. Two years ago before Kike' settled in as the regular CF Duran was tearing it up in WOOstah. Everyone was screaming at Bloom to get him up here and we know how that worked out. Now on the flip side, the frustration here came from every aspect of Duran's game. Aside from what we saw at the plate, he has what some call elite speed, but he was a poor base runner. As a defender his ability to track the ball off the bat and take good routes to the ball was shaky. He took heat for his non vax status and got crushed for his handling of questions about it as well. Fair or not it became part of a growing list of reasons not to like the kid and the Tapia little league home run only added fuel to the fire.
 

TFisNEXT

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Brutal? Many MLB players strike out at a similar rate and do fine. It's the new normal.
The guys who survive as plus players in the majors with that type of K rate mostly have elite power. I also might dispute “the new normal” claim. It’s true that players strike out more now but 30% is still very high in the current environment. I’d bet less than 10 qualified hitters last year had K rates over 30%.

If Duran is going to morph into a serious power threat, then I’d have less problem with the K rate. That said, Duran’s K rate has come down steadily since I made that post. When I looked yesterday he was down around 25%. His at bats have been fun to watch recently. He really seems like he’s on a steep learning curve in a positive way right now.
 

SouthernBoSox

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Been waiting on Duran to qualify for full savant metrics and they just came out.

They are siiiiiiiccckkk

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Van Everyman

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According to Rosenthal, Pedey got to Duran during spring training:

The way I first heard it, Dustin Pedroia was in the batting cage with Jarren Duranduring spring training, advising him to make a mechanical adjustment in a most unusual way.

“Put your hands up like you’re ready to f—— hit me,” Pedroia supposedly said.

Pedroia, the retired Red Sox star, did not deny saying those words, responding in a text, “Yeah, basically, hahaha, you know me.” But Duran remembers Pedroia delivering the message differently, albeit in equally off-color fashion.

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“He basically just told me, get your hands up, be athletic, act like you’re going to hit the f—— s— out of the ball,” Duran said. “For him to say that to me, I was like, ‘Hell, yeah. I’m going to buy in.’”

However Pedroia put it, his words resonated with Duran, who took over center field for the Red Sox on April 17, eight days after Adam Duvall fractured his left wrist. Duran, 26, has been electric for the Red Sox, a big part of their turnaround from a 5-8 start. His impromptu session with Pedroia provided a spark, helping him reignite his career.

“He had his hands low. I told him to get his hands up and be an athlete,” Pedroia said. “He is very athletic and strong and reminds me of (Jacoby) Ellsbury in 2011.

“I also told him he has to be him and stop worrying about what everyone else wants him to be. He hit about 50 balls with his hands up off the machine and they were driven. And then he gave me a hug and smiled.”

Red Sox outfielder Rob Refsnyder, working outside at the time, overheard the commotion, er, conversation.

“I was trying to give them space, but it was also like Pedroia, right? You want to hear what he’s saying,” Refsnyder said. “Jarren was like, oh, my hands are low. Pedroia was like, ‘Why the f— are they there? Put ‘em up! If that’s what you feel comfortable with, do that!’

“It was just classic Pedroia, so great. Jarren had a session right after that. I was like, ‘Oh my God, what a big difference.’”

Duran batted a combined .219 with a .622 OPS over 335 plate appearances in 2021 and ‘22, and also regressed defensively. This season he is batting .360 with a .991 OPS in 84 plate appearances, and looks far more confident in center.
https://theathletic.com/4503697/2023/05/10/mlb-red-sox-jarren-duran-yankees-rangers/?source=user_shared_article
 

Green Monster

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Not suggesting that it didn't happen, but seems like a rather small window of opportunity given that Duran spent the majority of spring training with team Mexico
 

iddoc

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If the adjustment really was that simple, does it not speak poorly for the coaching staff? Why wasn’t this noticed much sooner?
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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If the adjustment really was that simple, does it not speak poorly for the coaching staff? Why wasn’t this noticed much sooner?
Just because it was simple doesn't mean it was obvious. Sometimes it takes a fresh eye to catch something or suggest a simple change.
 

simplicio

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And, pure speculation here, sometimes people respond better to certain styles and/or sources of instruction.
 

Rovin Romine

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If the adjustment really was that simple, does it not speak poorly for the coaching staff? Why wasn’t this noticed much sooner?
Possibly. The only story I can think of where the coaching staff has made a significant improvement is with getting Yoshida to change his stance slightly, but that turned him into what he's always been.

It would be encouraging if the coaching staff actually helped some of the younger players be better hitters. Thusfar though it seems that Turner's presence in the hitting meetings is being credited with a lot of the success batters are having.

I mean, I don't doubt they do stuff, but they seem singularly unable to help AAA guys make the jump to the majors. Which is going to happen more often in the future.
 

simplicio

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I mean, I don't doubt they do stuff, but they seem singularly unable to help AAA guys make the jump to the majors. Which is going to happen more often in the future.
Weird thing to say. We're still waiting on Casas, but Wong, Valdez and Duran all seem to be hitting pretty well?
 

Daniel_Son

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Possibly. The only story I can think of where the coaching staff has made a significant improvement is with getting Yoshida to change his stance slightly, but that turned him into what he's always been.

It would be encouraging if the coaching staff actually helped some of the younger players be better hitters. Thusfar though it seems that Turner's presence in the hitting meetings is being credited with a lot of the success batters are having.

I mean, I don't doubt they do stuff, but they seem singularly unable to help AAA guys make the jump to the majors. Which is going to happen more often in the future.
Yeah, but I think that's because it makes for a better news story. We heard the same thing about JD for years.

"Gritty veteran goes above and beyond and takes a younger player under his wing to teach him cool hitting tricks" is a good story. "Coach performs competently at the job he was hired to do," not so much.
 

Rovin Romine

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scottyno

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I'm not sure if he's gotten faster, or hes just learned how to be a better baserunner, but he definitely didn't use his speed in such a game changing way before this year. 6 steals in 22 games, and I don't remember any of them being even close to being thrown out.