MLB Prospect Watch: Mariners’ Jarred Kelenic shows promise with September surge

Over the past couple of weeks, Prospect Watch has been devoted to inspecting the Rookie of the 12 months Award races. Generally, those that do not make the reduce are as notable as those that do. Take, for example, Seattle Mariners outfielder Jarred Kelenic.

Coming into the spring, it was cheap to guess on Kelenic factoring into the balloting offered the Mariners gave him sufficient taking part in time. All these months later, he’ll have appearances in additional than half of Seattle’s video games, but his candidacy has been betrayed by his efficiency. Coming into this week, he is hit simply .178/.258/.349 on the yr, along with his 70 OPS+ checking in because the lowest among the many 17 rookies with a minimum of 300 journeys to the plate. (Sure, decrease even than Colorado’s Yonathan Daza.)

If there’s a silver lining to be present in Kelenic’s season, it is that his numbers have been lots worse as of some weeks in the past. Certainly, he saved his finest play for the marketing campaign’s last month. In 19 video games thus far in September, he is hit .257/.333/.600 with six (of his 13 whole) dwelling runs, 4 doubles, and three stolen bases (on two whole makes an attempt).

With the caveat that it is a small pattern measurement, there are some indicators that counsel Kelenic is lastly, eventually discovering his footing as a big-league hitter.

That is an oversimplification of an advanced course of, however you possibly can inform lots in regards to the high quality of a hitter primarily based on a couple of essential outputs: how exhausting they hit the ball; the angle at which they hit the ball; and the way they command the strike zone. It stands to cause that if a batter is persistently placing a cost into the ball at a considerably optimum launch angle, and that they are doing that whereas placing themselves into good counts, then they’re extra probably than to not have a minimum of some success on the dish.

In Kelenic’s case, these variables are largely trending in the precise path. To wit, greater than 50 % of his batted balls in September have been measured at 95 mph or quicker. He completed only one different month over 40 % in that respect, and that was in June, when he was round 67 %. The distinction in these months is the angle. In June, he hit simply 17 % of his batted balls inside the “candy spot,” or between 10 to 30 levels. Thus far in September, he is up over 40 %.

For some perspective on these marks, the one different certified hitters who’ve exceeded 50 % and 40 % thus far in September are Joey Votto, Kyle Tucker, Max Muncy, and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. That is good firm to maintain, as all of them are above-average hitters.

Kelenic’s plate self-discipline stays largely unchanged from a chase charge perspective — that’s, how typically he is swinging at pitches exterior of the strike zone. He’s swinging extra total, nevertheless, and he is making contact at his highest charge since Might. Given his outcomes, it is exhausting to conclude that the tweaks he is made on the plate aren’t working.

In fact, it is to be seen if Kelenic can carry these features into subsequent season. For the primary time shortly, although, he is taking part in as much as expectations. | MLB Prospect Watch: Mariners’ Jarred Kelenic exhibits promise with September surge


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