36 3
Baseball LB In MLB Long Beach State Millikan

LB in MLB: Jarren Duran Named American League All-Star

The breakout season for Jarren Duran reached a major milestone on Sunday, when the 27-year-old Boston Red Sox outfielder was named an American League All-Star.

Duran, who was drafted out of Long Beach State back in the 2018 draft, has become a fixture atop the Boston batting order and has been one of the best players in baseball this season. He’s started all 89 games for the Red Sox so far, hitting .276 with a terrific .813 OPS.

A well-known speedster, Duran has continued to create havoc on the basepaths with 21 stolen bases on the season, but he’s also posting career numbers at the plate. Duran has hit 10 home runs to nearly double his career total, and he leads all of MLB with 10 triples. 

Meanwhile, Duran’s outfield defense has improved by leaps and bounds, making him one of the best defenders in MLB. According to Baseball-Reference, Duran is tied for sixth in WAR this season for all major leaguers, adding an impressive 4.6 wins so far for the Red Sox. That number has him tied with fellow AL All-Star, Juan Soto.

The complete MLB All-Star Game rosters were announced on Sunday afternoon, just before Boston’s Sunday Night Baseball game against their rival New York Yankees in the Bronx. Fittingly, Duran was chosen for the in-game interview live on ESPN, when he was asked about his first career All-Star selection.

“It’s pretty special, honestly,” said Duran from center field at Yankee Stadium. “I called my dad and we both broke down crying. You know, it’s kinda hard to focus on that when you’ve gotta play the Yankees at night, so it’s one of those quick little love things but then you’ve gotta focus back up.”

The562 End of Year Fundraiser

By The562 Network Inc

Over the past few weeks, the Red Sox organization has made a push for Duran to be included in the All-Star Game, and manager Alex Cora was asked about the selection during Sunday’s win in New York.

“This kid, I saw him playing in Puerto Rico when we were under lockdown because of COVID. No fans, and he played every game the right way,” said Cora during the broadcast. “It’s been a long process and for him to be elected by his peers, it means a lot.”

Duran becomes the ninth Long Beach State Dirtbag to earn an All-Star Game nod, and he’ll be making the program’s 22nd ASG appearance.

He also adds his name to an impressive history between the city of Long Beach and the Midsummer Classic. Over the last 35 years, only three times (2005, 2018, 2023) has Long Beach failed to produce at least one All-Star.

The 2024 MLB All-Star Game will be played at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas on Tuesday, July 16.

Elsewhere around the league, Millikan grad Jon Singleton has carved out an everyday role with the Houston Astros as their starting first baseman. Singleton is riding a six-game hitting streak through Sunday, July 7, a stretch that included his seventh home run of the season. His .339 on-base percentage is a career best, fueled by 30 walks drawn in his first 233 plate appearances.

Another former Millikan Ram, Spencer Steer, is starting to heat up again for the Cincinnati Reds. Steer homered in three straight games last week, starting off with a three-run shot at Yankee Stadium, followed by two dingers back at home against the Detroit Tigers. He’s now up to 13 homers on the year to go with a team-leading 57 RBIs. 

Steer has also been strong on the basepaths for the Reds, stealing 13 bases in 14 attempts this season. According to FanGraphs’ BsR baserunning metric, Steer ranks eighth in all of MLB on the basepaths, just behind Kansas City Royals speedster Bobby Witt, Jr.

In Milwaukee, Long Beach native Trevor Megill has taken over the closer’s role for the Brewers, and he ranks sixth in the National League with 18 saves this season. Megill has also produced a sterling 1.53 ERA across his 31 appearances, striking out 35 batters in 29.1 innings with a WHIP of 0.99.

Tyler Hendrickson
Tyler Hendrickson was born and raised in Long Beach, and started covering sports in his hometown in 2010. After five years as a sportswriter, Tyler joined the athletic department at Long Beach State University in 2015. He spent more than four years in the athletic communications department, working primarily with the Dirtbags baseball program. Tyler also co-authored of The History of Long Beach Poly: Scholars & Champions.