SEAside Thoughts: WE'RE BACK BABY!

Colorado Rockies v Seattle Mariners
Colorado Rockies v Seattle Mariners / Alika Jenner/GettyImages
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“The fans are always great. Obviously, it’s been a lot of ups and downs, but to know that they got my back is super rewarding, and I’ll never be able to tell each and every one of them how much I appreciate it. But that’s the stuff that, I’ll never forget that.”

-Jarred Kelenic 

After Tuesday, the Seattle Mariners were battered, bruised, and beaten. Sitting at 4-8 with three straight horrific losses and an overworked bullpen. Fast forward to today and your Seattle Mariners are 8-8, are playing great, and are being led by potential Cy Young and (can't believe I'm saying this) MVP contenders at the 10% mark of the season.

Kelenic for MVP?

I'm joking, but pretty soon I may only be half joking, that's how incredible Jarred Kelenic has been through 16 games. In 45 AB's, Kelenic is hitting .345 with 16 hits (5 2B's and 4 HR's). The shift ban helped him get off to a good start, but his power and ability to deliver are what's elevating his game to a special new level.

While Chicago was a disappointing series loss, it was a historic performance for Kelenic. The young slugger crushed home runs in 3 straight games, including a game tying blast in the 9th inning to force extra innings. While that ball went a long way, it pales in comparison to the legendary bomb he crushed in game 3's victory. Kelenic's 482 foot blast to deep center field not only helped Seattle break their three game losing streak, but it was the longest home run at Wrigley Field in the Statcast era.

Coming home and in need of a series win over Colorado, Kelenic continued to roll, going 4/10 with a home run, and the game winning hit in the 6th inning on Sunday to sweep the Rockies.

Kelenic so far is putting up a ridiculous 214 OPS+ with a .9 WAR in just 16 games. He's stolen 2 bases and has played Golf Glove defense, snagging a diving catch late on Sunday to preserve the shutout. He won't play like this for the whole season, but his progression and possible jump to being not just a good player, but a great player that puts Seattle squarely in the World Series picture. Expect Kelenic to be in the hunt for not just some April awards, but on some all star ballots as we move into the summer. It is time to believe.