We are finally here, we have reached the top of the countdown of our Top 40 Seattle Mariners prospects. And, to the surprise of no one, the biggest prize of the off-season lands at number 1.
Of course, we are talking about the player with the potential to alter the path of the Mariners franchise, one Mr. Jarred Kelenic. Acquired in the now famed Edwin Diaz and Robinson Cano trade, Kelenic has quickly lit the fandom on fire with white-hot excitement not usually reserved for 19-year-old kids.
The 6th overall pick of the 2018 draft, Kelenic started his journey with the Mariners organization in West Virginia where he proceeded to tear up the Sally League and after just 50 games, he was promoted to A+ Modesto.
And as a player who was often at least 2-3 years younger than his competition, he did struggle… relative to his numbers in West Virginia. But the California League was ultimately no match for Kelenic and the Mariners promoted him to AA Arkansas for the final month of the season.
As you would expect from a now 20-year-old in an advanced league, Kelenic did struggle a bit in Arkansas, but in no way looked overwhelmed. He finished the year hitting .291/.364/.540 with 23 home runs, 20 steals, and 31 doubles.
But as we often say, numbers don’t mean everything for prospects. The players “tools” are a big part of the evaluation. Thankfully, Kelenic checks every box imaginable. Plus bat speed, hand-eye coordination, and strike zone judgment gives him a plus hit tool (60 grade) and plus power. He also has an arm that will play anywhere and should be at least average in the centerfield.
He isn’t a burner per se, but he has above-average raw speed and should steal between 10-15 bases at the big league level. If everything goes right for Kelenic, he could be a .280/.400/.550 guy with 30 home runs, 15 steals, and well-above-average defense in a corner outfield spot.
Kelenic has a good chance of making good on his promise. He is a baseball junkie with a hard-working attitude and good leadership skills. He plays the game with fire and his teammates love him.
Jarred Kelenic is going to be a starting player at the big league level and may compete for MVPs and multiple All-Star game appearances. He is exactly the type of player that fans should dream big on and as an added bonus, they won’t have to wait long to see him in Seattle.
Kelenic has an outside shot to make the big league team out of Spring Training, but will likely begin 2020 in AA Arkansas. He could see AAA by late-May and possibly be up with the Mariners before September 1.