To this point, Seattle Mariners outfielder Jarred Kelenic has been a huge disappointment.
The minor leagues were a piece of cake for him, but the major leagues have been a nightmare.
In 147 games and 558 plate appearances, the promising left-handed hitter has a worrisome .168/.251/.338 line.
He does have 21 homers and 11 steals, but those rates will not cut it and he knows it.
Determined to change his fortunes in MLB and reach his ceiling, Kelenic worked a lot during the offseason.
That work is currently paying off in spring training.
Jarred Kelenic leads the Majors with 34 total bases this spring.
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— Mariners PR (@MarinersPR) March 20, 2023
Kelenic already has 34 total bases in the spring, which is excellent and accounts for a rock-solid .895 slugging percentage.
He is showing better contact and has seen his strikeouts decrease.
That will be the thing that makes or breaks his big league career: quality and quantity of contact.
He has a career 29.9 percent strikeout rate in MLB, but is currently below 20 percent in spring training.
He has eight extra-base hits (including four home runs) and has a 1.345 OPS.
The sample size is obviously very small, and it’s spring training, but we haven’t felt this positive about Kelenic in a long time.
Of course, it will be up to him to actually deliver this kind of solid performance in the regular season, when the games count.
However, he did need to start from somewhere, and a nice spring performance will give him a confidence boost for what is next.
After all, the former top prospect is still 23 years old, and has plenty of time to deliver on the promise that he once had.NEXT: Mariners Fans Express Hope About Jarred Kelenic