Just when nearly all of the shine had finally worn off Jarred Kelenic — when everyone, including Seattle Mariners fans — had given up on the possibility that he could blossom into the superstar that was promise, we have some news to report: It may finally be happening.
Jarred Kelenic just hit one where very few have before. pic.twitter.com/dtd9h3KNot— MLB (@MLB) April 12, 2023
For those keeping score at home, that absolute moonshot off of Julian Merryweather traveled an estimated 482 feet. It’s the longest homer by a Mariner in the Statcast era (since 2015) and the second-longest at Wrigley Field, behind only Willson Contreras’ bomb in Game 4 of the 2017 NLCS. It’s also the second time in this series that Kelenic has gone way, way yard.
Jarred Kelenic has scoreboard power tonight.— Jamie Gatlin (@JamieGatlin17) April 11, 2023
For years Kelenic was the chosen one, the most can’t-miss of all can’t-miss prospects, a future five-tool superstar with Hall of Fame potential. New York Mets fans were beside themselves when their team sent the former No. 6 pick in the 2018 MLB Draft to the Seattle Mariners for Edwin Diaz and Robinson Cano, watching as he tore through every level of the Minors.
But then a strange thing happened: Kelenic apparently forgot how to hit. He batted just .181 with 106 strikeouts in 93 games in his first taste of the Majors in 2021, then was somehow worse last year — .141 with 61 Ks in 54 games. He seemed unable to react to Major League breaking stuff, and most fans and analysts were ready to move on.
Flash forward a few months, and the difference is scarcely believable. Kelenic entered Wednesday hitting .333/.405/.636 with two homers and two steals over his first 10 games and making all sorts of loud contact. At this point, the sky may be the limit.