Jarred Kelenic Could Move Quickly For A Prep Hitter
Outfielder Jarred Kelenic, the sixth overall pick this year, has drawn early comparisons with Brandon Nimmo, whom the Mets selected 13th overall in 2011. But in Kelenic, team officials see a player who is more refined at this early stage in his career.
Kelenic turned 19 in July and was old for his draft class, but the lefthanded hitter performed at two Rookie-level assignments this summer, hitting .286/.371/.468 with six home runs and 15 stolen bases in 56 games.
"He’s got a really good swing and good idea of the strike zone, and some power,” a Mets talent evaluator said. "He’s got a chance to be a five-tool guy.”
Kelenic hails from Waukesha (Wis.) West High and is expected to begin next season at low Class A Columbia. Though Kelenic spent the season playing center field, his bat would profile at any outfield position.
Nimmo, who is also from a cold-weather background in Cheyenne, Wyo., did not exhaust his major league rookie eligibility until his seventh pro season in 2017. Kelenic has the potential to move faster, according to the Mets evaluator.
"(Kelenic) is a better athlete than Nimmo, and more instinctive than Nimmo,” the evaluator said. "Everything is way ahead of where Nimmo was, and it’s not even close on that end. It took Nimmo a long time (to reach the majors). I don’t think it will take (Kelenic) that long.
"Nimmo had great work ethic and busted his hump to improve and do the best he can with the ability he had. It would be unfair to take anything away from Nimmo, but (Kelenic) is further ahead in the starting point."