Producing at the minor league level has never been a problem for the young slugger.
Instead, he has failed in every opportunity he has been given in MLB.
As a result, he has spent more time than expected in Triple-A.
What most people ignore is that his issues go well beyond not making consistent contact and swinging at pitches outside of the zone.
His defense is also subpar: it’s passable in the corners, but it could be better.
That’s why Kelenic, determined to improve in all facets of the game, has been putting in the work with outfield coaches.
“Jarred Kelenic implemented extra pregame defensive work this season, knowing he needed to improve after last season,” Mariners insider Ryan Divish tweeted.
Jarred Kelenic implemented extra pregame defensive work this season, knowing he needed to improve after last season pic.twitter.com/p2iXhL99qK
— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) September 22, 2022
Defensive Work Is Paying Off
In the video, Kelenic is seen implementing fielding drills for quick reactions to balls hit towards the outfield.
Last year, Kelenic had a whopping -18 Defensive Runs Saved, or DRS, in more than 800 innings in the outfield.
That’s very, very bad.
He also had -3 Outs Above Average (OAA) and was subpar by Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR), too.
This year, in 265.1 innings in the outfield, he is much, much better, with 4 DRS and 3 OAA.
In short, he has turned himself from a liability in the outfield to an asset.
If he was able to make such an incredible transformation with the glove, he can certainly do it with the bat.
He is hitting .124/.187/.265 in 2022 in MLB, but is at .295/.365/.557 in Triple-A.
He will require a lot of patience, but he could be a top player once fully developed.