After much controversy earlier this year over the manipulation of serving time and the resignation of Mariners president Kevin Mather, the star prospect was initially promoted in May. However, he struggled in his first 23 games with a .096 / 0.185 / 0.193 line, producing a meager wRC + of 11. That drop led the Mariners to fire the rookie at Triple-A Tacoma in June. But since then Kelenic has fared much better against AAA pitchers, with a .306 / .386 / .622 line, for a wRC + of 135. A very encouraging sign is Kelenic’s strikeout rate. After eliminating 28.3% of his plate appearances at the major league level, he has reduced that percentage by essentially half, to 14.3% since his demotion.
If Kelenic can take that offensive production to the big league level, it would be a huge help to a Seattle Mariners team that finds itself in playoff contention, 7 games behind the Astros in the AL West and 3.5 behind Oakland. for the second wild card place. The club have a record of 48-43, despite a -50 points differential, which is largely due to the fact that they only scored 4.08 points per game, a rate that ranks 26th out of the 30 MLB clubs.
Kelenic’s initial delay in promotion had already kept him from achieving free agency status until after the 2027 season. But this second stint almost certainly prevents him from gaining Super Two status and advancing. in arbitration after the 2023 season, which will remove his earning power during his years of arbitration.
With Mitch Haniger and Jake Fraley playing well, Kelenic could potentially take out hitters at hangar long Jr., who has limped down to a lower line of .188 / .233 / .400 and a wRC + of 73 so far this year. If Kelenic can hit enough to stay in the mix, Seattle could face some outside traffic jam in the future. Kyle Lewis tore her meniscus in June but was playing well before. And there’s also the star prospect that’s just around the corner Julio Rodriguez, who was recently promoted to Double-A. Haniger is only controlled until 2022 and has often been mentioned as a potential trade chip for the Mariners as they have rebuilt themselves in recent years. But that could change if the team continues to perform well and maintains their status as a contender.