Kelenic makes smashing debut with Nuts

Mariners No. 2 prospect clubs solo homer in his third at-bat

Jarred Kelenic batted .303 with 10 homers, 31 runs and 26 RBIs and 31 runs over 49 games in the Sally League. (Ken Inness/

By Rob Terranova / | May 31, 2019 1:57 AM

After lasting just 49 games in the South Atlantic League, Jarred Kelenic seems to be looking to make the California League a quick stop.

Seattle's second-ranked prospect launched a moonshot in his third at-bat for Class A Advanced Modesto and drove in a pair of runs as the Nuts fell to the Rawhide, 5-3, at John Thurman Field.

Video: Kelenic goes yard for Modesto

Kelenic left his mark in the South Atlantic League prior to his promotion Tuesday night. The 19-year-old sported a .955 OPS that ranked second to Rome's Trey Harris (1.041) on the circuit, and he was among the league leaders with 26 extra-base hits (third), 106 total bases (third), 57 hits (fourth) and a .564 slugging percentage (fifth). He sported a .303/.391/.564 slash line with 10 dingers, 31 runs and 26 RBIs in 49 games for Class A West Virginia.

Over that span,'s No. 42 overall prospect appeared in 44 games in the outfield with the Power -- 33 in center, eight in right and three in left -- and compiled a .953 fielding percentage.

"He earned the promotion through his performance on the field," Seattle's director of player development Andy McKay told on Tuesday. "We are excited for him to move up to Modesto and continue his excellent year."

Batting in the two-hole for the Nuts, Kelenic stepped in against Shumpei Yoshikawa in the opening frame and barely kept the bat on his shoulder. After swinging through the first two pitches from the right-hander, Kelenic took a ball high out of the strike zone to pull the count to 1-2. He fouled off an inside fastball to stay alive on the next pitch, but missed an off-speed pitch low in the zone for the second out of the inning.

Gameday box score

In the third, the sixth overall pick in the 2018 Draft by the Mets was at the dish with runners on the corners and one out. Kelenic took the first two pitches from Yoshikawa low to get ahead, 2-0. He turned the next one and grounded out to first base, but scored Johnny Adams from third.

With nobody on and the score knotted in the fifth, 2-2, Kelenic got ahead again on the righty, 2-0, then swung through a fastball in the middle of the zone. After a ball, he fouled off the 3-1 offering. The left-handed hitter did not miss the full-count pitch as he drilled it over the 370 sign in right-center field.

The last Modesto player to go yard in his debut with the club was Seattle's No. 13 prospect Cal Raleigh on Opening Night.

Rob Terranova is a contributor to Follow him on Twitter, @RobTnova24. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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