Drayer: Mariners’ Jarred Kelenic has loud day, including his 1st HR of spring
Bombs o’plenty for the Mariners Wednesday in Mesa.
It may or it may not have been the hardest hit off the bat or gone the farthest, but under the circumstances, the home run off the bat of Jarred Kelenic against Cubs reliever Brandon Workman was the loudest.
— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) March 3, 2021
The timing, uncanny – or according to Kelenic, perfect.
As Mariners manager Scott Servais was telling the audience on ESPN that young players will tell you when they are ready to be called up, Kelenic had something to say. After he came out of the game, which he started as designated hitter, he had more to say in answering a number of questions about his readiness, the Kevin Mather comments, and the prospect of more time at an alternate site. He even had something to say about his first home run of the spring that was skied but carried over the fence.
“Off the bat I thought I didn’t get it,” Kelenic said. “I was kind of frustrated with myself and then I just glanced up there, happened to see (Cubs outfielder Cameron) Maybin going back to the wall and it went over, I guess.”
It counted, and in his mind, was not necessary to further state his case readiness for the big leagues.
“I’m going to go out and just do the same thing I have doing,” he said of his approach this spring. “If it were up to me I would do the same thing I did last year. I think last year was enough and hopefully enough this year, to go out and do the same thing if not better.”
Kelenic has seen what he needs to see from himself – and from what he has faced – to believe that even after just 21 games above High-A, he is ready to make his big league debut.
“My preparation has been definitely a key factor,” he said. “At the same time, it’s being around guys in the clubhouse here and going out there and playing against that type of talent, seeing how you stack up and how the game comes to you. I definitely know the game of baseball and I definitely feel like I can help this team out and hopefully I can keep doing so throughout spring training.”
After finding and then subsequently solidifying himself with a USA Today interview in the middle of the Mather controversy, Kelenic will not let the situation be a distraction as he works toward his ultimate goal.
“I’m going to go out and use it as motivation and try to dominate the spring,” he said of Mather’s comments. “My job doesn’t change regardless of who says what. I’m just going to come out and play my game.”
On Wednesday in Mesa, his game was loud.
The other Mariners highlight
Kelenic wasn’t the only highly-touted Mariners outfield prospect to hit a homer to the opposite field in Wednesday’s 8-8 tie with the Cubs. Taylor Trammell also hit his first of the spring, and he left no doubt.
— Mariners Player Development (@MsPlayerDev) March 3, 2021