The trade that sent Jarred Kelenic to the Seattle Mariners as part of the package for Edwin Diaz was supposed to be a disaster for the New York Mets. Instead, the Mariners lost that trade thus far, even if they were able to get rid of Robinson Cano.
The Mariners felt they had a future star in Kelenic. He was a top 100 prospect from 2019 through 2021, a consensus top ten prospect in that final year. He was considered a five tool player in center, a future All Star who could be one of their leaders for the next decade. Instead, Kelenic struggled mightily thus far in the majors, his lack of success making him a potential bust. The 2023 campaign could determine his future in Seattle.
Jarred Kelenic giving Seattle Mariners hope
If spring training is any indication, Kelenic’s breakout may be about to happen. He launched yet another homer on Sunday, his fourth of the spring thus far. That blast gave him sole possession of the spring training home run lead, adding to his impressive .412/.412/1.118 batting line in 17 plate appearances.
There are some concerns. Kelenic has struck out five times and has yet to draw a walk. As he has struck out 167 times in his 558 major league plate appearances, those swing and miss issues are troublesome. But he is driving the ball better than he has to this point, providing hope that he can tap into his potential. His swing changes and improved approach are already making a difference.
It is one thing for those improvements to show in March. It is another thing for that performance to carry over into the regular season. As Kelenic is battling AJ Pollock for the starting role in left, a strong showing in spring training will help his cause. Thus far, he is doing his part.
Jarred Kelenic has gotten off to a hot start for the Seattle Mariners in spring training. His long awaited breakout season may be coming.