The Seattle Mariners unveiled two prized prospects for their major-league debuts on Thursday night. Things didn't quite go as planned for starting pitcher Logan Gilbert or left fielder Jarred Kelenic, but it was only one game.
Friday, Kelenic, 21, flashed the upside we've long been hearing about from prospects gurus. He took Cleveland starter Aaron Civale deep for a two-run shot in the bottom of the third:
Since it was a line drive and not a fly ball, the distance won't knock anyone's socks off, but the eyeball test says it was absolutely crushed. Statcast agrees, clocking that shot at 109.3 miles per hour. For a point of reference, 95 miles per hour and up are considered "hard hit" balls.
As the saying goes, that should be the first of many for Kelenic.
CBS Sports prospect expert R.J. Anderson ranked Kelenic as baseball's No. 3 prospect heading into the season, writing that "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."
Kelenic was the sixth overall pick in the 2018 draft out of high school. He was selected by the Mets, but came to the Mariners in the Robinson Cano/Edwin Diaz trade that December. He's been steadily raising his stock ever since.
The Mariners didn't bring Kelenic with them from camp. He played at the alternate site and then appeared in six games in Triple-A, where he hit .370/.414/.630 with two homers and two steals.
And now he has a big-league home run.