How fickle fantasy baseball players are with top prospects is always interesting. One day the player is the second coming of Ken Griffey Jr. and then three weeks later they are sent down and seemingly written off as a player who will never make it. Jarred Kelenic has seen both sides of this cycle as he went from a top prospect and potential steal of the century in the Edwin Díaz trade to the Mets to be another failed prospect, and all of this by the age of 23. With all of this said we are seeing signs of life from Kelenic. Over the last two weeks, we have seen him put up a triple slash of 0.296/0.367/0.741 which includes three home runs, and eight runs scored. Now late season performance from players can certainly bring false hope as many teams no longer have much motivation so we often don’t see their best performances, and I’m not here to say this isn’t the case with Kelenic, as he has seen at-bats against teams who are out of contention, but with that, we shouldn’t throw away the idea that Kelenic is a prospect with a high pedigree, and he very much needed confidence boost, so maybe this is what he needs to propel his career forward at the major league level. So let’s take a look at his performance this season so we can try to understand if Jarred Kelenic is a player that we should consider drafting as we move into next season.


If we look at Kelenic’s season as a whole it has largely been a throwaway. He has hit 0.157 on the season, with seven home runs. When we look at what he did in his 24 at-bats in August we don't see anything overly promising there either, as he has two hits in 24 plate appearances and he didn’t walk a single time. That alone is going to be enough for many players to cast him aside and say “show me you can play before I pay”, and that is a very reasonable approach for a young player who is yet to have very few moments where he has looked like an MLB player. This comes in stark contrast to his teammate Julio Rodrigeuz who outside of some injuries couldn't have had a much better rookie season. The other thing though that really plays to the benefit of Kelenic is that the Mariners are not flush with options in their outfield, as Kyle Lewis after having a rookie of the year season in 2019 has failed to recapture much of that magic and has struggled with injuries, and Taylor Trammel who is with his third organization is also yet to show any real success at the major league level as well.

Moving into the next draft season I would recommend one of two approaches. The first is taking Kelenic in the last couple of rounds of your draft and hopefully finding yourself jumping the FAAB queue. The obvious advantage here is that you don’t have to burn any FAAB on him early if he has a hot start you could see a lot of demand for him as he will be a recognizable name for most fantasy baseball players, with the downside here being that you are going to burn a roster spot on a player that you could be dropping in a week. In reality, players drafted late are always hit and miss, but Kelenic certainly has the upside to be a player who can pay off if they are there late. The other path is you take the wait-and-see approach given his lack of any real success, and try to take a player who looks to have a clearer path to success. This off-season will tell us a lot about how the Mariners view their outfield moving forward and that will also be telling to those of us who might consider Kelenic to be on their radar. If we see them bring in an outfielder or two this might signal that they have lost their confidence, but let's hope that these last couple of weeks will signal that Kelenic has figured things out and he will be the player that many had hoped and dreamed he would be. 


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