Ever since he spent the offseason working on mechanical tweaks in his swing and on the mental part of the game, the baseball world had been sensing a breakout season by Seattle Mariners outfielder Jarred Kelenic.
He then translated that work to a memorable spring training performance and, after some initial struggles, to the major leagues.
Mariners fans waited two years to see the real Kelenic, the ultra-talented prospect that had star potential in MLB.
He struggled badly in 2021 (.615 OPS) and 2022 (.534 OPS), but he finally arrived this year.
Now, Kelenic is slashing a cool .297/.350/.564 with 10 homers, 25 runs, 25 RBI and six steals, and he is doing it with flair and confidence.
In fact, he is capable of doing this:
Check out this 455-foot blast by @jarredkelenic last night.
(MLB x @googlecloud) pic.twitter.com/W0EyztGKQO
— MLB (@MLB) May 23, 2023
Yes, that’s right: he hit a ball 112 mph to dead center field.
It traveled a projected 455 feet, according to Statcast data.
And, most importantly, it came against a lefty.
Kelenic struggled badly against southpaws in 2021 and 2022, but the work he put in over the offseason helped him unlock power against pitchers from his own hand.
Of his 10 home runs in 2023, four of them have come against lefties, which is impressive.
He is also hitting over .300 against them.
After the 2022 campaign in Seattle, it became clear that this is Julio Rodriguez’s team and they will go as far as he takes them.
However, this year has seen Kelenic develop into his sidekick.
Now, the Mariners will likely go as far as J-Rod and Kelenic take them, which is ideal because they are two of the most talented hitters in the game at the moment.NEXT: Luis Castillo Reached An Important Career Milestone