Many fans weren't exactly happy with the number of moves that were made for the Mariners during this last offseason. Some felt that Dipoto didn't do enough to stay in the arms race that is keeping pace with the Houston Astros. Well, it seems that Dipoto was banking on the secret weapons that are an improved Jarred Kelenic and a healthy Evan White.
Maybe we are asking too much, maybe we are overreacting about the impact these two might have on this upcoming season. But, maybe it's not? It's not debatable that up to this point, Kelenic has been fairly disappointing since coming over in a trade from the Mets but it's worth noting that he is still only 23 years old, that's younger than many of the rookies who come into the league each year.
Towards the end of the year last season, it appeared that he was making an improvement on solid contact hits and it looks to have gotten even better this year as he's shown off in Spring Training with a 2 homerun game and almost had a third in as many at-bats. Kelenic's defense and rocket arm from the outfield makes him a valuable asset and if he can piece together a season where he can hit over .230 with 20+ homers I think we can drop the talk of calling him a bust and instead start calling him a star on this young team.
Let's not forget about Evan White, and honestly, it would be easy too. Since breaking into the majors with the Mariners in 2020 he has only appeared in 84 games. He was bitten by the injury bug time and time again and hasn't been able to shake it. We also can't forget that during the 20-21 season he was a gold glove winner at first base and if he too can have his bat come alive it'll be like adding a whole new player. It'll also give the Mariners the option to slide Ty France to DH in order to preserve his health.
If, and it's a big if, these two can manage to find their bats and stay healthy, they could be that extra push that the Mariners need in order to make that all-elusive first World Series. I like to believe that if they can live up to their potential then that's all it'll take. For a team that was near the bottom in terms of batting average last season, we need them to strike lighting, and it could happen with these two players.