Extreme Makeover: The Jarren Duran Edition

Skiponzo

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Apparently Duran is dealing with mental health struggles again, as we all know these things are endemic and very difficult to erase completely over time. He posted this on his IG story yesterday:

View attachment 69242
Mental health issues are no joke (not that anyone was making one). This hits home as my oldest deals with some pretty serious social anxiety and they are only like 6 years apart in age, Take the time and get whatever help you need Jarren. Screw baseball, just get better.
 

Fishy1

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Not to do dismiss the seriousness of mental health issues, but are we sure he's not just talking about hitting 175/214/375 in August? Were there other posts alluding to something more?
Yeah, there was one before it that alluded to people telling him he was doing great when he felt like he was doing absolutely nothing.

Hard to say, but as someone vaguely in his age range, you don't post stuff like this unless you're looking for some attention or some help. And I don't say 'attention' in a derogatory manner, sometimes attention is the first step toward help.

As for his scuffles... I think his approach and batted ball profile all look good, I think BABIP has just not smiled on him in August: after consecutive months over .400, it's at .185.
69245

His K rate is relatively stable, 26%, and BB rate has taken a dip. His hard hit % is as high as it's been, 48%, and while there's more soft contact, his LD% is still 24% on the month, so really it appears he's just hit a bad stretch of luck. I hope he doesn't panic and change his approach or his swing or anything, because everything looks pretty good to me.

69246
 

pearccol

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Apparently Duran is dealing with mental health struggles again, as we all know these things are endemic and very difficult to erase completely over time. He posted this on his IG story yesterday:

View attachment 69242
I noticed this also. It was a clear flag for me. Hope somebody from the club will see this and provide him with the support he needs. A reminder to treat everybody with kindness, for they may be fighting an inner battle you know nothing about.
 

shaggydog2000

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Yeah, there was one before it that alluded to people telling him he was doing great when he felt like he was doing absolutely nothing.

Hard to say, but as someone vaguely in his age range, you don't post stuff like this unless you're looking for some attention or some help. And I don't say 'attention' in a derogatory manner, sometimes attention is the first step toward help.

As for his scuffles... I think his approach and batted ball profile all look good, I think BABIP has just not smiled on him in August: after consecutive months over .400, it's at .185.
View attachment 69245

His K rate is relatively stable, 26%, and BB rate has taken a dip. His hard hit % is as high as it's been, 48%, and while there's more soft contact, his LD% is still 24% on the month, so really it appears he's just hit a bad stretch of luck. I hope he doesn't panic and change his approach or his swing or anything, because everything looks pretty good to me.

View attachment 69246
Yeah, after months of unsustainable good luck he's had a stretch of bad luck. It's pretty expected. But nobody wants to hear "Well, statistically speaking..." when this is happening to them.
 

Fishy1

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Yeah, after months of unsustainable good luck he's had a stretch of bad luck. It's pretty expected. But nobody wants to hear "Well, statistically speaking..." when this is happening to them.
Exactly. I think one of the cognitive errors that occurs in anxiety disorders is trying to get everything under your own control when... there are just things that are outside your control.

In psychology they talk about a spectrum of "locus of control": a person with a poor understanding of what's under their control might spend a lot of time worrying about or trying to control things that they just don't have any control over. Whereas a person who has a strong internal locus of control would say "okay, there's nothing I can do about that... what can I control?"

In baseball, that might mean thinking "man, I hit the ball on the screws four times and it went for an out each time... I guess I'll just keep doing what I'm doing and hope the next one falls." On the other hand, someone with a poor internal locus of control would say "I hit the ball right at people, I need to find the holes every time, I'm gonna start tinkering with my swing, swinging earlier, harder" and suddenly they're striking out twice as much and wondering what went wrong.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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In the wake of his admissions of dealing with mental health issues, I can see his infamous reaction to the missed fly ball last year in an entirely different light.

It's a struggle and it's immune to logic. Here's to hoping he can get the help he needs and get back to a good place of mine.
 

shaggydog2000

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Exactly. I think one of the cognitive errors that occurs in anxiety disorders is trying to get everything under your own control when... there are just things that are outside your control.

In psychology they talk about a spectrum of "locus of control": a person with a poor understanding of what's under their control might spend a lot of time worrying about or trying to control things that they just don't have any control over. Whereas a person who has a strong internal locus of control would say "okay, there's nothing I can do about that... what can I control?"

In baseball, that might mean thinking "man, I hit the ball on the screws four times and it went for an out each time... I guess I'll just keep doing what I'm doing and hope the next one falls." On the other hand, someone with a poor internal locus of control would say "I hit the ball right at people, I need to find the holes every time, I'm gonna start tinkering with my swing, swinging earlier, harder" and suddenly they're striking out twice as much and wondering what went wrong.
I think this is why we used to hear so many crazy stories about player superstitions and pre-game rituals. You couldn't control what happened in the game, but if you ate chicken before every game and wore the lucky socks, you had something you could control. They were things that were completely irrelevant, but at least worrying about that allowed you to not worry about actions in the game itself. Now with the sort of prep available to players there is more in their control that might actually help them, so I don't know if the superstitions are decreased as a result. I certainly hear about them less compared to guys watching video or taking notes on their ABs. You hear a lot more guys talking about developing a process of hitting (or pitching, but we more often hear about the hitting side) and trusting it no matter the results. But that must be hard when the bad results pile up.
 

Fishy1

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I think this is why we used to hear so many crazy stories about player superstitions and pre-game rituals. You couldn't control what happened in the game, but if you ate chicken before every game and wore the lucky socks, you had something you could control. They were things that were completely irrelevant, but at least worrying about that allowed you to not worry about actions in the game itself. Now with the sort of prep available to players there is more in their control that might actually help them, so I don't know if the superstitions are decreased as a result. I certainly hear about them less compared to guys watching video or taking notes on their ABs. You hear a lot more guys talking about developing a process of hitting (or pitching, but we more often hear about the hitting side) and trusting it no matter the results. But that must be hard when the bad results pile up.
Yeah, it's hard to figure out what's a cultural shift, what's particular to baseball players, and I mean, this stuff is just highly individualistic.

Some guys were raised to think it's all in God's hands, and they don't feel any anxiety about their at-bats at all: they just do what they've practiced and hope it works out. (I remember Trot Nixon used to begin every postgame interview by saying "I'd like to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ). Other guys were told they can do anything if they just work hard enough. Others are told that any failure is a result of their not trying hard enough, not being smart enough, and that they need to work harder than everybody else.

The hard part is that as we all know these ways of thinking are automatic, that is, we're trained to think that way. Maybe Jarren Duran sees his batting average in August and immediately thinks Jesus Christ I'm worthless. Or maybe something else entirely is going on his life.

Regardless, I'll echo SJH and others in saying I hope he climbs this hill. He's done it once already this year, so in spite of his struggles hopefully he sees that he can do it again.

Or maybe he just needs Pedroia to join him in the batting cage again. Now there's a guy who never lacked for confidence.
 

joe dokes

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Some guys were raised to think it's all in God's hands, and they don't feel any anxiety about their at-bats at all: they just do what they've practiced and hope it works out. (I remember Trot Nixon used to begin every postgame interview by saying "I'd like to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ). Other guys were told they can do anything if they just work hard enough. Others are told that any failure is a result of their not trying hard enough, not being smart enough, and that they need to work harder than everybody else.
And some are told *all* of these at one time or another.
 

joe dokes

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I think this is why we used to hear so many crazy stories about player superstitions and pre-game rituals. You couldn't control what happened in the game, but if you ate chicken before every game and wore the lucky socks, you had something you could control. They were things that were completely irrelevant, but at least worrying about that allowed you to not worry about actions in the game itself. Now with the sort of prep available to players there is more in their control that might actually help them, so I don't know if the superstitions are decreased as a result. I certainly hear about them less compared to guys watching video or taking notes on their ABs. You hear a lot more guys talking about developing a process of hitting (or pitching, but we more often hear about the hitting side) and trusting it no matter the results. But that must be hard when the bad results pile up.
Right on cue
Superstitions, conspiracy theories, and rituals are all part of life in the Red Sox bullpen - The Boston Globe
 

Fishy1

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How sure are we that this is what's going on here?
We aren't, but it's consistent with what he's talked about in the past re:getting down on himself, IIRC. But it could be something entirely unrelated to baseball. Either way I think he's got our sympathy.
 

mauidano

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Baseball is a game of failures. As a hitter, if you can be successful 1/3 of the time, you can make a lot of money. But you fail 2/3 of the time. It's enormous pressure on a young man trying to get a foothold in a highly competitive game played under a microscope.

He was white hot not too long ago and now has gone ice cold. It's a lot of pressure trying to help the team.
 

mauidano

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We aren't, but it's consistent with what he's talked about in the past re:getting down on himself, IIRC. But it could be something entirely unrelated to baseball. Either way I think he's got our sympathy.
For sure. We are only speculating because we care.
 

KingChre

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Did anyone happen to see this or hear it? I'm curious about Cora's tone. Reading that quote in print, it comes across as a bit weird and impersonal given the situation. I'm probably reading into it too much, but if Duran is in fact having struggles, I would expect Cora to be more personal in his support. "We talked to the player" sounds a lot less supportive than "yeah we talked with Jarren about that."

He seems pretty comfortable referring to players by their names so it just struck me as odd, but I completely concede that I could be imagining things and when he actually said it, it came across more empathetic.
 

GlucoDoc

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A number of years ago, I had the opportunity to chat in an informal setting with Sam Kennedy. As I am a physician, the discussion came to health issues, and in particularly mental health problems. At the time, a player, long since departed from the Sox, was having some "melt down" issues. Sam indicated that the team was aware of concerns, was increasing its capabilities to provide help for such issues, but was acutely aware of HIPAA issues in that regard. In particular, with mental health issues more than with orthopedic issues, they were committed to privacy, particularly in interactions with the press and public. In fact, at that time, he felt limited as to how much the team could actually get involved in psychological issues which were felt to be the private domain of the player, whereas orthopedic issues were more within the rights of the team to address. Yet, they knew they could be signficant and were considering how to more effectively deal with them.

In that context, and with some time having passed since that conversation, I would be very surprised if the Sox were NOT aware of, and, to the best that they can, helping to address, such psychological issues. But I would suspect that they are being more careful than usual when discussing them in public. Certainly much more cautious than talking about orthopedic injuries. That might be the etiology of Cora's wording and tone...extreme caution.
 

Al Zarilla

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Duran has the highest fWAR (but not the highest BWAR) on the Red Sox. 2.5 fWAR, and with significantly less plate appearances than Verdugo, Devers, Turner, etc.
 

KingChre

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A number of years ago, I had the opportunity to chat in an informal setting with Sam Kennedy. As I am a physician, the discussion came to health issues, and in particularly mental health problems. At the time, a player, long since departed from the Sox, was having some "melt down" issues. Sam indicated that the team was aware of concerns, was increasing its capabilities to provide help for such issues, but was acutely aware of HIPAA issues in that regard. In particular, with mental health issues more than with orthopedic issues, they were committed to privacy, particularly in interactions with the press and public. In fact, at that time, he felt limited as to how much the team could actually get involved in psychological issues which were felt to be the private domain of the player, whereas orthopedic issues were more within the rights of the team to address. Yet, they knew they could be signficant and were considering how to more effectively deal with them.

In that context, and with some time having passed since that conversation, I would be very surprised if the Sox were NOT aware of, and, to the best that they can, helping to address, such psychological issues. But I would suspect that they are being more careful than usual when discussing them in public. Certainly much more cautious than talking about orthopedic injuries. That might be the etiology of Cora's wording and tone...extreme caution.
That makes total sense, thanks for the input. It struck me as odd, and your suggestion would certainly explain the tone.
 

Jimbodandy

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That makes total sense, thanks for the input. It struck me as odd, and your suggestion would certainly explain the tone.
The Sox absolutely provide access to mental health services to members of the organization, including the minors, and encourage the use of same. People can and often do keep issues inside and can keep even close family in the dark, but the org takes mental health seriously.
 

JM3

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This is a really detailed & nuanced piece on the impact of sprint speed on hitting.

https://www.thedynastydugout.com/p/sprint-speed-and-the-impact-on-hitting

I recommend reading the whole article, but here's the conclusion:

What Does it All Mean?
If we define a full season as 650 Plate Appearances, then we can expect the average player to generate 440 Batted Ball Events. Let’s take two hypothetical players who are average and equal in every single way except for Sprint Speed. In Sprint Speed, one is elite at 30 ft. /sec. and one is slow at 23 ft. /sec. As the chart below shows, the elite speed player would be expected to hit 50 points higher, hit ten more singles, five more doubles, and seven more triples. The faster player would also expect to reach base via an error an additional 3.25 times than the slower player. Essentially, Sprint Speed can drastically impact the value of a hitter across all hitting categories.
 

soxhop411

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At the moment he’s a fringe MVP candidate.
I mean compared to his season from hell, he is a completely different player.
its also another example of why you (not you specifically) cant give up on players so quickly.

Houck and Hamilton are other examples of players who take time to get adjusted to the big leagues
 

moondog80

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I mean compared to his season from hell, he is a completely different player.
its also another example of why you (not you specifically) cant give up on players so quickly.

Houck and Hamilton are other examples of players who take time to get adjusted to the big leagues
I know you didn’t mean me specifically, but I was guilty of it. I wasn’t part of the mob that wanted run him out of town for a bag of balls after that debacle a couple of years ago, but if they traded him this offseaon, I would have been OK with it thinking he was valuable to a team that needed cost controlled players but not good a enough for a “real” contender.

I don’t know how true it was that the motivation for the relatively quiet offseason was giving a lot of time to the guys that had instead of saving money, but it’s certainly worked out that granted time to the young guys has paid off, on balance if not in all situations.
 

soxhop411

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I know you didn’t mean me specifically, but I was guilty of it. I wasn’t part of the mob that wanted run him out of town for a bag of balls after that debacle a couple of years ago, but if they traded him this offseaon, I would have been OK with it thinking he was valuable to a team that needed cost controlled players but not good a enough for a “real” contender.

I don’t know how true it was that the motivation for the relatively quiet offseason was giving a lot of time to the guys that had instead of saving money, but it’s certainly worked out that granted time to the young guys has paid off, on balance if not in all situations.
Yah. But can you imagine trading someone like Duran or Houk/Hamilton at their lowest value and then seeing them putting up the seasons they are now on another team (and being cost controlled for years)
 

BaseballJones

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He's currently on pace for about an 8.0 WAR season, which is incredible. He's presently 8th in MLB in WAR.
 

chrisfont9

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Yah. But can you imagine trading someone like Duran or Houk/Hamilton at their lowest value and then seeing them putting up the seasons they are now on another team (and being cost controlled for years)
This isn't done so much anymore except for value in return, is it? I'm sure it happens in 40-man crunch situations and general prospect overloads but I'd hope GMs are too smart to just give up on guys in a knee jerk way? I know that used to happen but teams are so sophisticated now.
 

Dewey'sCannon

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I was thinking that they could have offered Houck and Duran to Seattle in the offseason for one of their SPs. If they did, they probably got turned down. Glad that didn't happen.
 

RedOctober3829

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Yah. But can you imagine trading someone like Duran or Houk/Hamilton at their lowest value and then seeing them putting up the seasons they are now on another team (and being cost controlled for years)
Let’s pump the breaks on Hamilton a bit. If his numbers are this good at the end of the year, then we may have something. A hot month or so shouldn’t change a narrative of “wow great move keeping X player”. Even Houck, as good as his first half has been, has to prove he can keep this kind of production up over an entire season. He’s been inconsistent most of his career.
 

SirPsychoSquints

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He's currently on pace for about an 8.0 WAR season, which is incredible. He's presently 8th in MLB in WAR.
Tied for 4th in the AL:
https://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/AL/2024-batting-leaders.shtml
Wins Above Replacement--all
1. Henderson • BAL 5.5
2. Judge • NYY 5.3
3. Soto • NYY 4.1
4. Anderson • LAA 3.9
5. Duran • BOS 3.9


Or tied for 7th, per Fangraphs
https://www.fangraphs.com/leaders/major-league?pos=all&stats=bat&lg=al&qual=y&type=8&season=2024&month=0&season1=2024&ind=0
https://www.fangraphs.com/leaders/major-league?pos=all&stats=pit&lg=al&qual=y&type=8&season=2024&season1=2024&ind=0&month=0

In either case, he’s well behind Henderson and Judge, but still extremely impressive.
 

KingChre

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Should be a no doubt All-Star.
At this rate, he is going to receive MVP votes. Which is not exactly a sentence I would ever have predicted I would type in my life.

EDIT: To clarify, when I say votes, I mean be on ballots. I don't think he has any chance at winning the MVP.
 

Rovin Romine

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At this rate, he is going to receive MVP votes. Which is not exactly a sentence I would ever have predicted I would type in my life.

EDIT: To clarify, when I say votes, I mean be on ballots. I don't think he has any chance at winning the MVP.
He'd seem to be a dark horse, but he has an outside shot at it. (Assuming he stays hot all year, guides the Sox into the post-season, and others ahead of him slump.)
 

Cassvt2023

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If you consider that Judge and Soto could split votes, and Henderson and Rutchsman could as well, than Duran could certainly be in the mix if he keeps up the pace he is on.
 

Cassvt2023

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Judge and Soto splitting votes probably means they also stay on or near the pace that they're on. If that's the case each may still get more votes than Duran.
the fact we are having this conversation in late June is pretty incredible in itself.
 

Daniel_Son

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God damn. I was ready to pay for this guy's ticket out of town after that Tapia error two years ago. Clearly, I am not a smart man.

Forget about the All Star Game - he's going to be a legitimate MVP contender if he keeps this up.