Mets draft outfielder Jarred Kelenic in the first round of the 2018 MLB Draft
The Mets drafted one of the best pure hitters in the draft in Kelenic
The MLB Draft is a time to see who will lead the future of America’s Pastime. It is also a time for a change in the system for any big league club. With the sixth pick in the first round, the Mets decided to change the clubhouse dynamic, drafting outfielder Jarred Kelenic from Waukesha High School in Wisconsin.
The tenth best prospect on the MLB Pipleine draft board, Jarred is considered one of the best pure hitters in the draft. Speaking to the media after the news came out, Jarred was ecstatic by the opportunity to represent a major league team like the Mets.
“To hear your name called by such a great organization like New York, it was a blessing. I was definitely very emotional. It was a time I got to sit and think about all the hard work that paid off.”
Due to weather concerns in his area, Jarred played through months of baseball in wild weather. He never actually played at his school, but through the national U-18 team of USA Baseball. Before the draft, he played on a Wisconsin state travel team. In the 2017 U-18 World Cup Finals, Kelenic hit two doubles and five RBIs in nine games. He also won gold at the Pan American Games in 2016, hitting .407 with a 1.241 OPS in eight games. His performance earned him the MVP award.
Already with the tools to play, Jarred graduated a semester early in order to focus on the draft. By looking at his highlight reel, the young outfielder can hit, steal and field the ball like no other prospect in the draft. Here is a basic description of what the Mets got with Kelenic:
6. Mets Jarred Kelenic, OF. One of most well-rounded HS players in this class. Kelenic may not have a 70 on his card, but a whole lot of 55s and 60s.
— JJ Cooper (@jjcoop36) June 4, 2018
MLB Network compared him to Grady Sizemore, which can go both ways. On one hand, you have an outfielder that could not stay healthy four years into his career. On the other, when healthy, Sizemore was one of the top sluggers in baseball.
Jarred is hoping for the latter of the two to work out. Speaking to MLB.com before the draft, Jarred and his father discussed his potential rise to superstardom. His dad relayed his sons dream of wanting to be a Hall of Famer, and Jarred briefly went on to talk about the opportunity ahead of him:
“If and when I get to the big leagues, that’s not going to be enough for me. I’m always looking for the highest competitive opportunity and biggest stage. Ever since I was really young, I wanted to play this game for a living and be considered alongside the best people ever to play the game.”
Jarred’s attitude reminds several scouts of a young Bryce Harper, thanks to his ability to stay positive and believe in himself. Whether it all works out with the Mets is a question we’ll have to wait to find out. If he can easily handle the minor leagues, and an opportunity knocks, we might just see the rise of Jarred Kelenic sooner rather than later. Even at his age, he has the skills necessary to help the team out. With the amount of time he has been waiting, Jarred may already be ready to try and prove his worth.
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