Your Mariners 2024 Center Fielder is…
John: Kyle Lewis – K-Lew has missed the vast majority of 2021, but his 2020 ROY campaign spoke volumes about what he can do both offensively and defensively. He’s an elite defensive CF who will be in his prime come 2024. His career MLB slash line is .258/.343/.450 with an OPS+ of 121. Give me this guy at CF all day. Next question.
Chris: Jonatan Clase – This is likely my outlier. It was hard tracking Clase, but the original 5’8” is now a thing of the past, as he is closer to six feet tall. The speed is still there and is a real threat. He has 16 steals in 57 plate appearances for the Rookie team and hasn’t been caught. As he grew, there is actually some power there as well. He could be a 15 homer – 70 steal guy. Everything you wanted from Billy Hamilton, might be found in Clase. If you know Spanish, you can even check out an interview with him.
Connor: Kyle Lewis – While the middle of the order has still been able to come through and Kelenic has manned center field well, the reigning A.L. Rookie of the Year has certainly been missed. He is a very patient hitter with a beautiful swing, and he’s an even better outfielder than Kelenic. He’s arbitration eligible through 2025, but just like Crawford, I imagine he will sign an extension sooner than that.
Jamey: Jarred Kelenic – I actually really like Chris’s choice of Clase, I just wonder about the bat long term. For me, Kelenic ends up sticking there with the concerns around Kyle Lewis’s injuries. After the atrocious start to his career, Kelenic has settled down nicely and has swung the bat really well during the road trip. The strikeout numbers are down, the contact numbers are up and even his outs look and feel better. A tough 30 or so games doesn’t change the fact that he’s still an all-word talent and is going to be a long-time fixture in the Mariner outfield.