If we learned anything this weekend, it’s that Jarred Kelenic has once and for all arrived.
The young Seattle Mariners center fielder could transition from top prospect to starter at the beginning of the 2022 season. In a three-game series in Kansas City Sept. 17-19, Kelenic busted out with three home runs in the three-game series, and had three hits in the series finale Sunday.
Kelenic arrived in Seattle as the centerpiece in the trade that sent closer Edwin Diaz and second baseman Robinson Canoe to the New York Mets. He earned a call-up to the Majors in May, but was sent back down to Triple-A Tacoma in the summer.
In September, Kelenic has been a big part of the Mariners push for the playoffs. Although Seattle had too many teams to leapfrog and too much ground to make up in the wildcard race, they turned a lot of heads this year.
Kelenic was not as highly touted as Bryce Harper was, but he was equally as much of a blue chip prospect. He had committed to play college baseball at Louisville, but after being draft, he signed a $4.5 million contract with the Mets.
Although Kelenic’s rookie cards are starting to appear in 2021 late season products, he has had numerous cards out on the market for several years. Kelenic appeared in products a year before he was the selected sixth overall by the Mets in the 2018 MLB Draft.
Leaf and Panini continued to produced multitudes of cards, variations and autographs of Kelenic, while Topps jumped into the game with numerous Bowman cards.
One of the most popular Bowman Kelenic cards is the 2017 Bowman Under Armour All-America Autographs cards, which were inserted into packs of 2018 Bowman Draft packs.
Kelenic did a lot of signing in 2017. He also signed for Leaf Metal Perfect Game All-American Autographs. His 2017 Panini Contenders USA Baseball 18U Tickets Autograph card numbered to 100 is his first signed with the USA Baseball program, and it is one of the more difficult Kelenic signed rookie cards to obtain.
In 2018, Kelenic made his first appearance on Bowman cards. He was in the late season Bowman Chrome Draft set, and the card received the 1st Bowman card designation on the design.
Topps Now featured Kelenic in numerous offerings in 2021, including Topps and Bowman branded items.
At the end of the season, Kelenic will not look like a world beater on the stats page. He finished the weekend series with a .178 batting average, 13 home runs and an OPS of .608. The poor numbers are more of a reflection of how Kelenic struggled in May and June as opposed to what he has done in September.
Down the road, Kelenic projects to be a perennial all-star and could possibly become a franchise player. He hits for power, he doesn’t chase bad pitches, and he has impressive bat speed. When you add in his defensive range, arm strength, and his base running abilities, Kelenic is a bona fide five tool player.
In the hobby, he may become one of the most collectible players of the 2020s.
You can check the current list of the hottest Jarred Kelenic cards on eBay below.