Jarred Kelenic's Rebound Start

by Trey Kristensen | Published: April 20, 2023

Steph Chambers via Getty Images

                Last year the Seattle Mariners made a big comeback, making the playoffs for the first time since 2001. As we enter the 2023 MLB season the Mariners are experiencing a different type of comeback. The subject of this comeback is now a player, 23-year-old outfielder Jarred Kelenic.

                It seems strange to say that a 23-year-old is having a "comeback" but that is exactly what is happening. A first-round pick by the New York Mets in 2018 at just 18-years old, Jarred rocketed through the minor leagues. Kelenic was traded by the Mets to the Mariners in 2019. Jarred continued to excel in the minors after ending up in Seattle's organization. He was the #4 ranked prospect in all of baseball upon being promoted to the MLB in 2021.

Abbie Parr via Getty Images

               Jarred looked to continue his hitting excellence in the MLB going 3-for-4 with a Home Run in just his 2nd game. Then, it all fell apart. Over his next 29 games Jarred had a batting average of .078, by far the worst in the league. He would slightly rebound and end up finishing the season with a .181 batting average good for 3rd worst in the league among players with as many plate appearances as Kelenic.

                2022 would not go much different. In fact, it somehow got worse. Jarred posted a .141 batting average and was eventually sent down to Triple-A. In Triple-A, Kelenic reverted back to raking. He posted a .295 batting average with 18 home runs in 86 games. After the 2022 season Jarred was fully labeled as a "bust" by fans and analysts alike and seemed to be a career minor leaguer.

Steph Chambers via Getty Images

                Before this 2023 season Kelenic was seemingly replaced by new Seattle Mariner AJ Pollock whom the Mariners signed in the off-season. Despite this, on Opening Day the start was given to Jarred. Kelenic performed okay on Opening Day. He dropped a single in game #1, a double in game #2 before seemingly going right back to normal going 0-for-6 in the next 2 games. Jarred was left on the bench for the next 2 before finally finding his hot hand. He went on a 10-game hitting streak, the longest of his career, which included a 4-game home run streak. The hitting streak unfortunately ended when he was left hitless in Seattle against the Milwaukee Brewers. 

                The damage had been done though. Kelenic currently (as of April 20th) sits at 11th in the AL with a .310 batting average, higher than the likes of Mike Trout (.302), Shohei Ohtani (.281) and Aaron Judge (.274). Jarred also stands tall with the 4th highest OPS (On-Base Plus Slugging) in the AL.

Steph Chambers via Getty Images

               Jarred Kelenic for the past two years has been almost a laughingstock of a player. A highly touted prospect who cannot adjust to the big leagues. Now, Kelenic has started the next phase of his career. The phase in which he proves everyone wrong and (hopefully) becomes the player he was supposed to be.


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