Karpin’s Korner: Kelenic Principle

Kiyoshi Mio/Icon Sportswire

The Jarred Kelenic watch has begun.

The much hyped prospect made his major league debut last night for the Seattle Mariners, as we begin to find out whether Kelenic is the real deal or not.

Kelenic’s career will bear watching because he is a former #1 pick and because of how he got to Seattle. The 6th overall pick of the Mets in the 2018 Amateur Draft was the key component for the Mariners in the December, 2018 deal that sent closer Edwin Diaz and second-baseman Robinson Cano to New York.

The 21-year old is rated as the 4th best prospect in the sport by MLB Pipeline and he was raking at AAA-Tacoma where he had 10 hits in 27 at bats with a slash line of .370/.414/.630. Kelenic projects as an above average outfielder who doesn’t have blazing speed but he takes good routes on balls and has a pretty good arm. Kelenic shows good instincts on the base paths but he is being promoted because of his offensive skills.

The left handed hitter is starting to develop more power as he physically matures. Scouts believe that Kelenic’s bat speed and “swing path” will eventually translate into 25-30 home runs and 35-40 doubles.

I watched his debut last night. Seattle put him right into the lead off spot and he was 0 for 4 with a strikeout, but, even in a very small sample size, you can see the potential.

I was not in favor of this trade from the Mets’ point of view and now we’ll get to see if my trepidation was valid. I get the feeling that former GM Brodie Van Wagenen, who got the job in late October, 2018, wanted to make a splash and never really assessed the minor league system before pulling the trigger on a trade that could come back to haunt.

I get the feeling that the Yankees have just about given up on Clint Frazier.

You can’t sugar coat it. Frazier has been abysmal. I have to admit I am absolutely shocked that he has been this bad at the plate. He’ll continue to get playing time because no one else is outplaying him to the point that he should be on the bench full time, but if he doesn’t get things turned around in a hurry, I would not be surprised to see him dangled as trade bait come the deadline in July.

Frazier has lost his confidence and the Yankees haven’t helped by replacing him in some games with Brett Gardner, citing defensive purposes. To his credit, except for one dropped fly ball earlier in the year, Frazier has been solid defensively. He’s even made some spectacular plays so why the need to remove him for Gardner, who has also been a bust offensively. I don’t get it.

How come no one talks about Tim Anderson as a top shortstop and top player? Could it be because he strikes out a ton? Everyone strikes out nowadays but Anderson gets no acclaim as being one of the top shortstops in the game.

The 27-year old is hitting .315 with 5 home runs and 15 RBI’s. Last season, Anderson hit .322 with a league leading 45 runs scored during the pandemic shortened 2020 season. He also finished 7th in the voting for AL MVP (that was won by teammate Jose Abreu)
The White Sox have a sweet deal with Anderson. He is signed through 2022, but the contract contains team options in 2023 and 2024 for $12.5 million and $14 million respectively with a $1 million buyout in each season.

Most fans have not warmed up to the extra inning rule this season. With last season being played in such a bizarre manner, starting a runner on second base in extra innings actually made some sense.

I admit to being a purist but I could accept this rule if it wasn’t used starting in the 10th. Play three regulation extra innings, then use the runner on second to start the 13th inning, if the game gets that far.

How about eliminating the automatic intentional walk in extra innings. The automatic intentional walk does not shorten the game and you’ve eliminated any chance to steal a base or have movement on the bases.

Make the pitcher throw four pitches outside the zone. With the potential winning run on third base, scratching the intentional walk could make the situation a little more interesting.

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