Watch: Mariners OF Jarred Kelenic blasts 2-run home run for first MLB hit
After going hitless in his first MLB game, Mariners top prospect Jarred Kelenic got the first hit of his MLB career in his second at-bat on Friday. And he did it in typical Jarred Kelenic style.
After chasing an offspeed pitch from Cleveland Indians starter Aaron Civale in his first at-bat to strike out, Kelenic got the better of the next encounter in a big way. Civale threw a changeup that was down in the zone but right in the middle of the plate and Kelenic didn’t miss it at all, driving the ball deep to right-center field for a two-run home run.
First of many. pic.twitter.com/mZb5TVthnw
— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) May 15, 2021
Kelenic’s home run was absolutely smoked, exiting the bat at 109.3 mph and traveling 403 feet according to Statcast.
Mariners fans were certainly fired up about the moment, giving Kelenic a standing ovation and curtain call shortly after he entered the dugout after rounding the bases.
Kelenic laser. Home run No. 1 and he flies around the bases. Looks like he acknowledged his family in the stands and then a big hug for Kyle Lewis in the dugout. Fans want a curtain call. He comes out and tips his cap. Nice. 3-0 Mariners.
— Shannon Drayer (@shannondrayer) May 15, 2021
Kelenic, the Mariners’ top-rated prospect and the No. 4 prospect in baseball per MLB Pipeline, is just 21 years old and entered his first MLB series with a lot of hype surrounding him. Based on his past history of showing up with all eyes on him, it’s hardly surprising he hit a massive home run for his first MLB hit.
Last year, Kelenic hit two home runs in a live-streamed intrasquad game at the team’s summer camp.
Earlier this year, he hit a home run on a nationally televised spring training game while manager Scott Servais was being interviewed by ESPN and while he was answering a question regarding calling up young prospects like Kelenic.
And this year before his MLB callup, Kelenic blasted two home runs in his first game for Triple-A Tacoma.
With the home run, Kelenic is the first Mariners player to record a home run as their first MLB hit since fellow outfielder Kyle Lewis did so in his MLB debut in September 2019.
After a brief stint in the big leagues in 2019, Lewis won American League Rookie of the Year in 2020. Home runs like this one on Friday could make it so Kelenic is the second Mariners player in a row to take home the award.