At long last, the Seattle Mariners are set to call up top prospect Jarred Kelenic. Kelenic is expected to join the big-league team this Thursday, reports ESPN's Jeff Passan. GM Jerry Dipoto recently said Kelenic's promotion was drawing ""
Kelenic, a 21-year-old outfielder, is 8 for 18 (.444) with two home runs in four Triple-A games this season. He swatted both home runs on Opening Day, and he authored an impressive .291/.364/.540 batting line with 23 home runs in 117 games at three minor-league levels in 2019. Kelenic spent 2020 at Seattle's alternate site.
Our R.J. Anderson ranked Kelenic the No. 3 prospect in baseball before the season. Here's his scouting report:
Kelenic probably would've made his big-league debut in 2020 with a normal season. Alas, he'll have to wait until 2021. Kelenic has the means to make up for lost time; he's an advanced hitter who should contribute across the triple-slash categories. He has a simple, in-control swing that nonetheless permits him to generate easy, above-average power. Kelenic isn't going to win a Gold Glove in center field, in all likelihood, but he's playable there and may improve. As an added bonus, he should be able to steal a handful (or two) of bases a year as well.
when he said Kelenic rejected a long-term contract extension, and that the team planned to keep him in the minors long enough to push back his free agency. That has happened -- Kelenic can not become a free agent until the 2027-28 offseason now rather than 2026-27 -- so he is being called up.
Of course, the MLBPA is likely to file a grievance on Kelenic's behalf, alleging blatant service time manipulation.because he could not prove he was held down for service-time reasons. In Kelenic's case, a high-ranking team executive all but admitted he would to be held down to delay his free agency.
The Mariners will play a quick two-game series with the Dodgers on Tuesday and Wednesday. They will open a seven-game homestand with the first of four against Cleveland on Thursday, so Kelenic will debut at T-Mobile Park.