Welcome back for another installment of this year’s weekly Mariners MVPs! Today, we’ll take a look at the recently surging Jarred Kelenic, Seattle’s prized rookie centerfielder. The M’s finished last week with a disappointing 2-4 record after series losses to both the Houston Astros and Arizona Diamondbacks, but Kelenic began to show the promise we’ve been waiting for all season.
Jarred Kelenic was 6 for 21 with two doubles, two home runs, five RBIs, four runs scored, and three walks over the course of the week, finishing with a .286 BA, .450 OBP, and 1.117 OPS.
To say that we’ve been looking forward to Kelenic’s breakout would be a major understatement; after rapidly tearing through the minors and getting called up to the Mariners in April, Kelenic has floundered with a batting average consistently sitting around .150 and an on-base percentage below .300, while struggling to have any success at all against left-handed pitching. However, the tide finally turned last week, with Kelenic exploding for his best stretch of games yet this season.
Along with the statistics shown above, Kelenic also came through with a base hit in five of six games, and his two home runs came in moments where the Mariners desperately needed a spark; the first was an impressive shot to straightaway center field after Chris Flexen gave up four runs in the fourth inning in Game 2 against the Diamondbacks, and the second was an upper-deck two-run bomb to right field with a three-run deficit in the ninth inning of that series’ Game 3.
Check out a couple clips of Kelenic’s sweet swings:
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Fortunately, Kelenic’s outbreak could be coming at exactly the right time; the Mariners are set to take on the Boston Red Sox at home for a three-game set beginning this evening, with the Red Sox currently sitting three games ahead of the Mariners in the American League Wild Card chase.