It didn’t take long for Jarred Kelenic to give the Mets and their fans something to make them wonder what could have been.
The former Mets prospect and current Mariners outfielder’s first hit in the major leagues was a two-run homer in the third inning of Seattle’s 7-3 win over the Indians on Friday night.
The 21-year-old left fielder drilled a 1-0 pitch from Aaron Civale 403 feet and into the right field stands at Safeco Field to put the Mariners up 3-0. He added an RBI double in the seventh for this third extra-base hit of the game in a 3-for-4, three-RBI night.
Kelenic was sent to Seattle by former Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen in a highly criticized trade that brought Robinson Cano and closer Edwin Diaz to Citi Field in 2019.
Cano is suspended for the 2021 season after testing positive for performance enhancing drugs. Diaz’s career with the Mets have been a roller coaster. He is currently 1-1 with a 3.14 ERA and is perfect in five save opportunities.
Kelenic, one of the top prospects in the sport, did have a rough go of it in his first big league game on Thursday, when he went 0-for-4. A first-hit home run is certainly a great way to rebound.
After that tough debut, Kelenic brought the Mariners crowd to its feet with a long ball in the third inning on Friday night. He stayed with an off-speed pitch from Aaron Civale, but still had the power to drive it 403 feet out to right-center field.
The ball was clocked at 109.3 mph off the bat and Kelenic’s sprint around the bases seemed just as fast. He embraced fellow young Seattle star Kyle Lewis in the dugout with a bearhug and tipped his cap to the fans when their standing ovation didn’t stop.
“I didn’t even know that that’s what they wanted, until people were like, ‘Get out there.’ I didn’t know what was going on until I realized that everyone was standing up,” Kelenic said. “But that’s something I’ve always imagined.”
Kelenic became the youngest Mariners player to homer since Adam Jones in 2006 and joined Lewis in hitting a home run for their first major league hits. Lewis did it in September 2019.
— with AP