Will Mariners OF Jarred Kelenic be a starter for Seattle in 2023?

There have been a number of players who have really opened eyes this spring. One of those names is Mariners outfielder Jarred Kelenic, who could be poised to move up the Seattle depth chart thanks to a very strong start to Spring Training.

Related: With the Demotions of Ian Anderson and Bryce Elder, Who’s the Favorite to be the Braves’ Fifth Starter?

A Look at Kelenic

It’s been a very strong camp thus far for Mariners outfielder Jarred Kelenic. The 23-year-old, acquired from the Mets in the Edwin Diaz trade back in 2018, has yet to crack through as a regular since his MLB debut in 2021. But, 2023 might be the time.

As of March 14, Kelenic is tied with Red Sox outfielder Raimel Tapia, Orioles infielder Ryan Mountcastle, and Cincinnati’s Christian Encarnacion-Strand for the most extra base hits (7) in Spring Training thus far. After his first eight games, Kelenic sported a gaudy .448 batting average with four home runs and nine RBIs. The Wisconsin native also swiped two bases in Cactus League action thus far.

Armed with plenty of athleticism and power, no one is going to deny that Kelenic has the tools to be a starter — and a good one, at that — in the Majors. So far, it looks like the former first-round pick is closer than ever to cementing a regular role with the Mariners.

What it Means

Those numbers might be from Spring Training, but the strong start is a real positive. After tearing through the Minors, Kelenic’s first two seasons have not gone well. Across 558 plate appearances from 2021-22, Kelenic hit .168/.251/.338 with 21 home runs — but also a lot of strikeouts. While the outfielder has shown a penchant for drawing walks, he’s struggled to make consistent contact.

Seattle signed AJ Pollock this winter to shore up its outfield and play alongside Julio Rodriguez and Teoscar Hernandez. But if Kelenic continues to his like this in the regular season, the 23-year-old should have no problems making it into the starting lineup every day.

Leave a Reply