Mariners top prospect Jarred Kelenic is expected to make his MLB debut on Thursday, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
Kelenic, 21, will likely join Seattle’s lineup as it hosts Cleveland at T-Mobile Park.
Kelenic is currently the No. 4 prospect in baseball, per the MLB.com prospect rankings. Fellow Seattle outfield prospect Julio Rodriguez is baseball’s No. 5 prospect, according to MLB.com.
The timing of Kelenic’s promotion to the majors came under controversy in February. Kelenic claimed the Mariners were manipulating his service time after a video was released featuring comments from former Mariners president and CEO Kevin Mather. In the video, Mather said Kelenic was being kept in the minors in order to delay his free agency. Mather also noted Seattle decided to avoid promoting Kelenic after he and the team failed to agree to a contract extension before the 2020 season.
“Not to be given that opportunity was so beyond frustrating,” Kelenic told USA Today‘s Bob Nightengale. “I feel that guys should be rewarded for their play, and have the best guys on the field, especially when you talk about a team that hasn’t gone to the playoffs in 20 years, and your best prospects are just sitting there watching.”
Kelenic has shined in his brief minor league stint in 2021. He tallied two home runs in his first four games at Triple A Tacoma, adding six runs scored.
The Mariners enter Monday night sitting third in the AL West at 18–17. They have not reached the postseason since 2001
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