Most MLB fans, especially Seattle Mariners‘ supporters, remember Jarred Kelenic‘s struggles in 2021.
Overall, the uber-prospect slashed .181/.265/.350 with 14 home runs and six stolen bases in 377 plate appearances, necessitating a stint in the minor leaguers in the summer.
So, when Kelenic’s bat finally woke up in September and he slashed .248/.331/.524 with seven home runs and a .854 OPS in the final month of the season, everybody was excited and declaring his arrival, at long last.
However, the start of the 2022 campaign hasn’t been kind to him.
It hasn’t been kind at all.
“Jarred Kelenic is 1-for-15 with nine strikeouts to begin the season,” NBC Sports Edge’s D.J. Short tweeted on Wednesday.
Jarred Kelenic is 1-for-15 with nine strikeouts to begin the season.
— D.J. Short (@djshort) April 13, 2022
This time, however, the Mariners may not be able to afford being too patient with their struggling prospect.
How Long Is Kelenic’s Leash?
For starters. they have serious playoff aspirations, and playing like this, Kelenic can’t help them.
And second, they have other options who can perform at a similar level or better at the moment.
Right now, the Mariners’ depth chart for the outfield has Kelenic, Julio Rodriguez, Jesse Winker, Mitch Haniger, and Kyle Lewis.
Lewis, the 2020 AL Rookie of the Year, started spring training behind his teammates and is currently getting up to speed.
If the Mariners had to sacrifice someone’s at-bats to include Lewis in the lineup, it would be Kelenic.
Kelenic, however, has as much upside as anyone on that list except for maybe Rodriguez, and has something going for him: he can play center field.
In the end, he may snap out of his funk relatively soon, but the Mariners will want to see results soon, or they could start thinking about demoting him to the bench or, even worse, to the minors.