BRENT STECKER

Top Mariners prospect Jarred Kelenic promptly HRs twice in Triple-A debut

May 6, 2021, 10:19 PM | Updated: 10:50 pm
Mariners Jarred Kelenic...
Jarred Kelenic's first two hits in Triple-A were home runs. (Getty)
(Getty)

In his first opportunity to play in front of fans in the Seattle area, the legend of top Mariners prospect Jarred Kelenic only grew larger.

Dipoto: Kelenic’s M’s debut coming ‘sooner than later,’ may add ‘spark’

In his Triple-A debut Thursday night at Tacoma’s Cheney Stadium, Kelenic checked in with not just his first home run at the level but his first two-homer game.

Hitting in the leadoff spot and playing left field, Kelenic broke a scoreless tie between the Rainiers and the El Paso Chihuahuas in the fifth with a laser over the wall in right field off El Paso’s Nick Ramirez (box score here).

It was Kelenic’s first true minor league game since late 2019 when he was with the Mariners’ Double-A affiliate in Arkansas, and his reaction while he ran down the third-base line towards home pretty much tells the story of the year and a half between.

Notable about that home run was that the lefty-hitting Kelenic hit it off a fellow lefty. Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto recently said the team told Kelenic that they wanted him to get more experience against higher quality southpaw pitching as he grew close to his MLB debut.

Kelenic wasn’t done for the night hitting balls in the general direction of Foss High School, however.

Up at the plate again in the seventh inning with Tacoma now trailing 2-1, he promptly deposited a 1-1 breaking ball from right-hander Mason Thompson over the wall to tie the game at 2-all.

The multi-homer game is yet another example of Kelenic’s flair for the dramatic.

In a nationally televised spring training game in March against the Cubs, Kelenic just happened to homer for the Mariners as manager Scott Servais was saying on the ESPN broadcast that “players will let you know when they’re ready” to be called up to the major leagues. This time, his first two Triple-A homers arrive on the same day as a report by MLB Network insider Jon Morosi that Kelenic was expected to make his MLB debut with the Mariners by the end of May. Shortly after that report on Twitter, the weekly 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jerry Dipoto Show (8:30 a.m. Thursdays) took place, and the Mariners GM responded by saying there is no set date as of this time for Kelenic to debut.

“We’re getting closer and closer,” Dipoto said of when Kelenic could receiver a call up to Seattle. “I will say it’s some part because he’s making progress, it’s some part because it’s time to take a look at him, and that’s coming sooner than later.”

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Top Mariners prospect Jarred Kelenic promptly HRs twice in Triple-A debut