Mariners take Kelenic out of Fall League

Top prospect shut down out of caution due to back injury

Jarred Kelenic picked up three hits in three games during his limited time in the Fall League. (Buck Davidson/Getty Images)

By Sam Dykstra / MiLB.com | October 10, 2019 12:55 PM

Jarred Kelenic was one of the most talented prospects in this year's Arizona Fall League. Unfortunately, his stay in the desert will be a short one.

The Mariners are removing their top prospect from the Peoria roster in the AFL out of concern about a back injury, according to a report by MLB.com's Greg Johns. The injury isn't considered serious, but after Kelenic already played 117 games during his first full Minor League season, Seattle decided it was best to be cautious.

On Thursday, Kelenic tweeted, "Thank you @Mariners for an unforgettable 2019...See you in 2020."

Kelenic's arrival in the AFL was delayed by having his wisdom teeth removed last month. He finally made his Javelinas debut on Oct. 1 and played in only three games -- the last being Oct. 4 -- before sitting out with back stiffness. The left-handed slugger went 3-for-10 (.300) with two RBIs, a walk and two strikeouts and played center field, left field and designated hitter.

Before even stepping foot in the Grand Canyon State, Kelenic had already enjoyed an eventful 2019 campaign.

Offseason MiLB include

Taken sixth overall in the 2018 Draft by the Mets, the 20-year-old outfielder was traded to the Mariners along with fellow prospect Justin Dunn last offseason in the deal that sent Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz to New York. Kelenic surged through the Seattle system, playing at three different full-season levels and topping out at Double-A Arkansas in his first full season. The Wisconsin native finished with a .291/.364/.540 line, 23 homers and 20 stolen bases over 117 games. His 152 wRC+ ranked 21st among the 686 Minor Leaguers with at least 400 plate appearances in 2019.

After opening the season at No. 56, Kelenic jumped all the way up to the No. 13 spot in MLB.com's Top-100 prospect rankings at season's end. His hit and arm tools each receive plus grades while his speed is also considered above-average. After playing 21 games in the Texas League down the stretch, he is likely to open 2020 back at Double-A.

Sam Dykstra is a reporter for MiLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @SamDykstraMiLB. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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