It was so good to see JK turn it on during the last month of the season; I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little concerned after his initial call up. The most encouraging thing for me was watching his strikeout rate drop from 38.5% in July to around 25% from August-September.
Watching the Mariners play do-or-die baseball over the last two weeks of the regular season was as nerve-wracked and excited as I have ever been since I’ve been following the team. A big part of the reason why was the energy the players brought each and every night, and no player brought more energy than Mr. Kelenic. He wears his emotions on his sleeve and has the desire to win, and that’s infectious.
Kelenic is #1 on my list because he is one of the faces (if not the face) of this rebuild, and if the Mariners are going to compete in the AL West long-term, you’d have to think he would be a big part of the reason why. If he can pick up where he left off in September, he will quickly wash away any lingering fears about his ability to produce at the big-league level.