It appears that the breakout for Jarred Kelenic may finally be happening. The Seattle Mariners outfielder belted a 482-foot home run against the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday. The blast is the longest home run at Wrigley Field and the longest home run by a Mariners player in the Statcast Era (since 2015).
Kelenic has struggled to establish himself at the major league level since making his debut in May 2021 but has been scorching hot to start this season. Kelenic sports a .351 batting average and has homered in three straight games, driven in a run in five straight and has a seven-game hitting streak.
In 500 at-bats with the Mariners in 2021 and 2022, Kelenic had a .168 average but showed off his power with 21 home runs. The Mariners acquired Kelenic via trade from the New York Mets in December 2018. He was a highly touted prospect, ranking as high as fourth on MLB Pipeline's top 100 prospects list.
The Mariners and many baseball analysts alike expected big things from Kelenic, but after a rough first two seasons in the big leagues, expectations were tempered. Kelenic entered the 2023 season at the age of 23 though, with still plenty of time to figure things out at the plate. It finally looks like he is starting to round into form.
Kelenic has been one of the few bright spots in an otherwise dismal start to the season for the Mariners. Seattle won on Wednesday to improve to 5-8. If the rest of the talented Mariners roster can figure things out and Jarred Kelenic can stay consistent at the plate, Seattle will be a very dangerous team in 2023.