How Good Is Jarred Keleni?

Frank Jones

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How Good Is Jarred Keleni

Jarred Kelenic is one of the most highly-touted prospects in all of baseball, with a pedigree that includes being a first-round draft pick and earning rave reviews from scouts and analysts.

However, since making his debut in the major leagues in 2021, Kelenic has struggled to find his footing, with a batting average well below the Mendoza Line and limited impact on the field. This raises the question: how good is Jarred Kelenic, really?

Is he a future star who just needs time to adjust to the major leagues, or is he a player who has been overhyped and may never live up to his potential?

In this blog post, we will delve into Kelenic’s background, performance in the major leagues, and potential future trajectory, in order to assess his potential as a player in Major League Baseball.

Background on Jarred Kelenic

Jarred Kelenic was born on July 16, 1999, in Waukesha, Wisconsin. He grew up playing baseball and other sports, and was a standout player at Waukesha West High School, where he hit .433 with five home runs and 20 stolen bases as a senior.

Kelenic’s talent caught the attention of college and professional scouts, and he was considered one of the top high school prospects in the country.

Draft and Minor League Progression

In the 2018 MLB draft, the New York Mets selected Kelenic with the sixth overall pick, making him the highest-drafted player from Wisconsin in history. Kelenic signed with the Mets for a bonus of $4.5 million, and began his professional career in the minor leagues.

Kelenic quickly established himself as a top prospect in the Mets organization, earning recognition for his hitting ability, power potential, and overall athleticism.

He made his debut in Class A-Short Season in 2018, and hit .286 with six home runs and 15 stolen bases in 56 games.

In 2019, Kelenic advanced to Class A-Advanced and Double-A, and posted impressive numbers, including a .291 batting average, 23 home runs, and 20 stolen bases in 117 games.

Scouting Reports and Prospect Rankings

Kelenic’s performance in the minor leagues earned him high praise from scouts and analysts, who lauded his all-around tools and potential as a five-tool player.

He was consistently ranked as one of the top prospects in baseball, including being ranked as the No. 11 prospect by Baseball America and No. 9 by MLB Pipeline heading into the 2021 season.

Scouts praised Kelenic’s bat speed, plate discipline, and power potential, as well as his ability to play all three outfield positions and provide solid defense.

Some even compared him to Mike Trout, one of the greatest players in baseball history, in terms of his skillset and potential.

Performance in the Major Leagues

Kelenic made his Major League debut on May 13, 2021, with the Seattle Mariners, after being traded from the New York Mets as part of a package for Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz.

In his rookie season, Kelenic played in 92 games, recording 340 plate appearances and hitting .181 with six home runs, 31 RBI, and 78 strikeouts.

While Kelenic had some notable moments, such as hitting his first Major League home run and recording a walk-off hit, he struggled to consistently produce at the plate. He was also limited by injuries at times, missing several games due to knee and wrist issues.

Analysis of His Strengths and Weaknesses as a Player

Kelenic’s struggles in his rookie season raised questions about his potential as a Major League player. Some analysts pointed to his high strikeout rate and low contact rate as areas of concern, suggesting that he may need to make adjustments to his approach at the plate.

Others noted that Kelenic’s defense and baserunning were solid, and that he showed flashes of his impressive power potential.

One of Kelenic’s strengths is his ability to hit for power, as evidenced by his 22 home runs in 530 career at-bats in the minor leagues. He also has above-average speed and athleticism, which make him a threat on the bases and in the outfield.

However, his swing-and-miss tendencies and struggles to make contact have been noted as areas of improvement needed.

Comparison to Other Players With Similar Profiles

Kelenic’s struggles in his rookie season were not unprecedented for a young player making the transition to the Major Leagues. Many players, even highly-touted prospects, take time to adjust to the level of competition and refine their skills.

Some analysts have pointed to players like Bryce Harper, Aaron Judge, and Carlos Correa as examples of players who had underwhelming rookie seasons before breaking out as stars in subsequent years.

However, other highly-touted prospects such as Mark Appel and Dominic Brown never lived up to their billing, highlighting the risk of overhyping prospects.

Factors Affecting Kelenic’s Performance

Adjusting to the Major Leagues

One of the biggest challenges for any young player making the transition from the minor leagues to the Major Leagues is adjusting to the level of competition.

The Major Leagues feature some of the best players in the world, and the game moves at a faster pace with more advanced pitching and defensive schemes.

Kelenic likely faced some of these challenges in his rookie season, as he struggled to consistently make contact and adjust to the different types of pitches he was seeing.

However, with more experience and development, he may be able to make the necessary adjustments and improve his performance at the plate.

Coaching and Training

Another factor that can affect a player’s performance is coaching and training. The Mariners coaching staff and training staff may be working with Kelenic to refine his swing, improve his approach at the plate, and make adjustments to his mechanics.

Additionally, Kelenic’s offseason training regimen may also play a role in his performance. If he is able to work on specific areas of weakness, such as his contact rate or plate discipline, he may be better equipped to succeed in the Major Leagues.

Team Dynamics and Support

Finally, a player’s performance can also be affected by the dynamics and support of their team. The Mariners may be working to create a supportive and positive environment for Kelenic to develop and thrive in.

This could include giving him regular playing time, providing him with feedback and encouragement, and creating a supportive culture among his teammates.

Conversely, if a team is struggling or if there is tension or conflict within the clubhouse, it could impact a player’s performance.

However, this doesn’t seem to be the case for Kelenic, as he has spoken positively about his experiences with the Mariners and has been supported by his teammates and coaches.

Potential Future Trajectory

Optimistic Scenarios for Kelenic’s Development and Success

Despite his struggles in his rookie season, there are still reasons to be optimistic about Kelenic’s future potential. He has shown flashes of his impressive power and athleticism, and his defensive skills and speed give him value beyond just his bat.

If Kelenic is able to make adjustments to his approach at the plate, improve his contact rate, and cut down on his strikeouts, he could become a dynamic offensive player and one of the best young outfielders in the game.

Some analysts have even compared him to players like Andrew McCutchen and Ryan Braun, who were able to combine power, speed, and solid defense to become perennial All-Stars.

Pessimistic Scenarios for Kelenic’s Struggles and Challenges

On the other hand, there are also reasons to be concerned about Kelenic’s future potential. His struggles in his rookie season highlight some of the challenges he may face in adapting to the Major Leagues, and his high strikeout rate and low contact rate could be red flags for his long-term potential.

If Kelenic is not able to make adjustments or if his weaknesses are exploited by opposing pitchers, he could struggle to hit for average and become a liability in the lineup.

He could also be passed by other prospects or younger players in the Mariners’ system, making it difficult for him to earn regular playing time or reach his full potential.

Realistic Assessment of His Most Likely Path Forward

The most likely path forward for Kelenic probably falls somewhere between these optimistic and pessimistic scenarios.

It is possible that he will continue to struggle at the plate in the short term, but he has shown enough potential and raw talent to suggest that he could eventually develop into a productive Major League player.

The Mariners may need to be patient with Kelenic and give him time to adjust and develop, but if he is able to make the necessary adjustments and improve his approach, he could become a key contributor for the team.

It will also depend on the team’s ability to support Kelenic’s development, both in terms of coaching and training and in terms of creating a supportive and positive environment for him to thrive in.

Compares Jarred Kelenic’s statistics to some other top outfield prospects:

PlayerGames PlayedAt-BatsBatting AverageHome RunsRBIStolen BasesStrikeout Percentage
Jarred Kelenic55165.149616439.8%
Julio Rodriguez32122.310621027.3%
Andrew Vaughn55175.244621023.4%
Dylan Carlson61202.260829423.8%
Cristian Pache2792.18204127.6%

This table compares Kelenic’s statistics to those of some other top outfield prospects, including Julio Rodriguez, Andrew Vaughn, Dylan Carlson, and Cristian Pache.

It includes key metrics like games played, at-bats, batting average, home runs, RBI, stolen bases, and strikeout percentage.

The purpose of this table is to provide a quick and easy comparison of Kelenic’s performance to some other top prospects in the game.

Frequently Asked Questions

Has Jarred Kelenic been compared to any other players in baseball?

Yes, Kelenic has drawn comparisons to players like Andrew McCutchen and Ryan Braun, who were able to combine power, speed, and solid defense to become perennial All-Stars.

What are some of the specific adjustments that Kelenic needs to make in order to improve his performance?

Kelenic needs to work on improving his contact rate, reducing his strikeout rate, and developing a more consistent approach at the plate. He may also need to refine his defensive skills and improve his base running.

How long should the Mariners be patient with Kelenic before considering other options?

The Mariners will need to balance their desire to give Kelenic time to develop with their need to win games and remain competitive in the short term. It is difficult to say how long they should be patient with him, as it will depend on a variety of factors, including his progress and the team’s overall performance.

Are there any other prospects in the Mariners’ system who could challenge Kelenic for playing time?

Yes, the Mariners have a number of other promising young players in their system, including outfielder Julio Rodriguez and infielder Noelvi Marte. These players could potentially challenge Kelenic for playing time in the future if they continue to develop and improve.

What is Kelenic’s contract status with the Mariners?

Kelenic signed a six-year, $4.5 million contract with the Mariners in 2018, which includes options for the 2026 and 2027 seasons.

To Recap

Jarred Kelenic’s future potential is both exciting and uncertain. While he has struggled in his rookie season and faces challenges in adjusting to the Major Leagues, he has also shown flashes of his impressive power and athleticism and has been ranked as one of the top prospects in baseball.

The factors affecting his performance, such as coaching, training, and team dynamics, will be important in determining his trajectory moving forward.

Ultimately, it is difficult to predict exactly how Kelenic will develop and what kind of player he will become, but there is reason to be optimistic about his potential if he is able to make the necessary adjustments and continue to develop his skills.

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