Kelenic, a 21-year-old outfielder, is 8 for 18 (.444) with two homers in four Triple-A games this season. He crushed both home runs on opening day and he wrote an impressive .291 / .364 / .540 hitting line with 23 home runs in 117 minor league three-tier games in 2019. Kelenic spent 2020 on the Seattle alternative site.
Our RJ Anderson ranked Kelenic 3rd in baseball before the season. Here is his screening report:
Kelenic would likely have made his big league debut in 2020 with a normal season. Unfortunately, we will have to wait until 2021. Kelenic has the means to make up for lost time; he’s an advanced hitter who should contribute in the triple-slash categories. It has a simple, controlled swing that nevertheless allows it to generate easy, above average power. Kelenic isn’t going to win a Golden Glove in the center field, in all likelihood, but he’s playable there and can improve. As a bonus, he should also be able to steal a handful (or two) of bases per year.
The Mariners are averaging 4.06 runs this season, eighth in baseball,. Seattle forwards hit a terrible .201 / .287 / .391 this year. Kelenic is expected to step in as a full-time left fielder alongside Mitch Haniger and reigning AL Rookie of the Year Kyle Lewis.
when he said Kelenic had rejected a long-term contract extension and the team planned to keep him in the minors long enough to push back his free agency. This has happened – Kelenic can’t become a free agent until the 2027-28 offseason rather than 2026-27 – so he’s called up.
Of course, the MLBPA is likely to file a grievance on Kelenic’s behalf, alleging blatant manipulation of duty time.because he could not prove that he had been retained for service reasons. In Kelenic’s case, a high-ranking team leader practically admitted that he would be held up to delay his free agency.
The Mariners will play a quick two-game streak with the Dodgers on Tuesday and Wednesday. They’ll open a seven-game home game with the first of four against Cleveland on Thursday, so Kelenic will make his T-Mobile Park debut.
Seattle acquired Kelenic in the Robinson Canó / Edwin Díaz trade with the Mets. New York selected him with the No.6 pick in the 2018 draft.