After much controversy earlier this year over the manipulation of service time and the resignation of Mariners president Kevin Mather, the star perspective was initially promoted in May. However, he fought in his first 23 games for a line of .096 / .185 / .193, producing a miserable wRC + of 11. This decline caused the Mariners to option again at Triple-A Tacoma in June. Since then, Kelenic has fared much better against Triple-A pitching, with a line of .306 / .386 / .622, for a wRC + of 135. A very encouraging sign is Kelenic’s strikeout rate. After bursting at 28.3% of its plate appearances at the level of the big league, it has cut that essentially in half, to 14.3%, since its relegation.
If Kelenic can bring that offensive production to the big league level, it would be a tremendous help for a Seattle team that is in the playoffs, seven games behind the Astros in the West AL and 3.5 behind. Oakland for second wild-card spot. The club has a 48-43 record despite a -50 race differential, which is largely due only to scoring 4.08 runs per game, a percentage that ranks 26th out of the 30 MLB clubs.
Kelenic’s initial delay in promotion has already prevented him from reaching free agency until after the 2027 season. This second instinct almost certainly prevented him from gaining Super Two status and reaching refereeing after the season. 2023, which will remove its earning power during its arbitration years.
With Mitch Haniger and Jake Fraley playing well, Kelenic could potentially hit the bats Long shed Jr., which has limped to a .188 / .233 / .400 subpar line and wRC + of 73 so far this year. If Kelenic can hit enough to stay in the mix, Seattle could face an outfield log in the future. Kyle Lewis
tore his June meniscus but he played well before. There’s also the star prospect approaching quickly Julio Rodriguez, which was recently promoted to Double-A. Haniger is controlled only until 2022 and has often been cited as a potential commercial chip for Mariners, as they have been rebuilt in recent years. That could change if the team continues to play well and maintain contender status.