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Fantasy Baseball Takeaways: Jarred Kelenic kicks off Promotion Season

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Let’s run down some things we know about Jarred Kelenic, ballyhooed outfield prospect.

He’s the gem of Seattle’s minor-league system, and a Top 10 prospect on everyone’s list, a sweet-swinging lefty. He’s probably going to haunt the Mets for years; Kelenick was part of the ill-fated Robinson Cano trade back in 2018. His last name is two syllables, not three — it’s KELL-nick, amigos. Ignore that second E.

And let’s not bury the lede — he’s also coming up this week, according to ESPN's Jeff Passan. Thursday is officially Jarred Kelenic Day. Promotion Season is here.

The Mariners did the expected service-time dance with Kelenic, who turns 22 in July, but after watching him play (checking notes) five games at Triple-A, they’ve deemed Kelenic ready. I suppose a 9-for-22 start with two homers and two steals will get anyone’s attention, or at least provide a convenient excuse. Kelenic’s full minor-league slash comes out to .293/.369/.521. He’s hit 31 homers, stolen 38 bases over 178 games — and he’s still just a kid.

Kelenic is capable of being a five-category contributor for fantasy; he makes good contact, understands the strike zone, hits the ball from pole to pole, has pop, is willing to run. Maybe I’m drinking some Kool Aid, but I think his floor as a player is Kyle Tucker — intended as a major compliment.

Kelenic has chased up to 69-percent rostered in Yahoo leagues. You don’t need me to tell you this, but he’s worth a speculation add in even the shallowest of formats.

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - MARCH 21: Jarred Kelenic #10 of the Seattle Mariners hits a solo home run in the second inning against the Milwaukee Brewers during the MLB spring training game at American Family Fields of Phoenix on March 21, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
You are going to fall in love with Jarred Kelenic's swing. (Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

Of course, baseball is hard. And Kelenic is still on the first steps of his baseball journey. There’s no guarantee he hits the ground running. Everyone’s development time is different, and plenty of touted prospects don’t turn into anything.

I'm also obligated to remind you that if you already roster Kelenic, it’s probably worth it to take the temperature of your league. Make sure one of your rivals isn’t prepared to trade something gigantic for Kelenic. The emotional power of FOMO is ammonia-strong. I only have one Kelenic share, and it’s in a shared keeper league — lucky us — but if someone wants to make a Godfather Offer, we can always listen.

You should always listen.

I’m curious to see if Seattle will consider other aggressive promotions. Julio Rodriguez is another outfielder with star potential, and right-handed pitcher Logan Gilbert could be a middle-rotation starter someday. The Mariners have been somewhat competitive thus far — one game over .500, though their run differential is minus-15. I don’t see a runaway train in the AL West. Might as well try to compete, see if you can steal this horserace.

Kelenic’s pending promotion is well-timed, as the Mariners begin a seven-game homestand on Thursday. He’ll take his hacks against Triston McKenzie on Thursday. Shane Bieber deals to him Sunday. The Tigers come to town Monday.

Get your popcorn ready. I think we’re gonna have some fun with this one.