Mariners Breakout Candidate #1 LF Jarred Kelenic
Kelenic appears to be the most obvious of the potential breakout players for the Mariners in 2023. After a rough start to the season in 2022 (he hit just .140 in the majors), Kelenic started to find his swing in the minor leagues. Kelenic hit .296 in AAA Tacoma for the Rainiers with 18 HR, and a .922 OPS. He also has refined his swing even more, developing a new stance in the off-season.
The adjustment seems to be paying off with Kelenic batting .421, with 4 HR, and an insane 1.345 OPS in 14 Spring Training games. His defense has been impressive as well, going from -18 defensive runs saved (DRS) in 2021 to 3 DRS in 2022. He showcased his defensive ability in the ALDS in game 3, when he came up with an amazing catch to rob Houston slugger Yordan Alvarez of a base hit in the 18th inning. Kelenic appears poised to prove his doubters wrong and be a key contributor in 2023 for Seattle.
There were high expectations for Kelenic when he came over to the Mariners in a blockbuster trade that sent Edwin Diaz and Robinson Cano to the Mets in exchange for Kelenic along with four other players and cash considerations. The time is now for Jarred Kelenic to live up to that potential.