April 24, 2024

Atlanta’s left fielder has already been doing well this season.
When the Atlanta Braves traded for Jarred Kelenic during the summer, fans weren’t sure what to expect from the rookie outfielder. Kelenic was once a highly regarded prospect in the Mariners organization, but he never found his footing.

2023 provided baseball fans with a glimpse of Kelenic’s potential as a player. Unfortunately, he injured himself by kicking a water cooler after striking out during a game in July. Kelenic injured his foot and did not return to the field until September.

That was a major learning experience for the Wisconsin native, and it set him on the path to being the player he knows he can be. This winter, the Braves believed he was worth dealing for, and they have done an excellent job of ensuring Kelenic’s mental health.

Yes, they want him to perform on the field, but more importantly, they want him to have fun both on and off the field. Baseball is both a mental and physical game. Despite a difficult Spring, Atlanta’s unwavering confidence in Kelenic has played a significant role in his early success. Kevin Seitzer got to know Jarred, and they eventually worked on improving his swing, which can take time.

 

Jarred Kelenic is doing exactly what the Braves thought he would

Toward the end of Spring Training, Kelenic began working lengthier at-bats and was eventually rewarded with hits. The Braves’ left fielder had a spectacular final week of Spring. He took his momentum into the first series of the season in Philadelphia.

Kelenic has done an excellent job working counts at the plate, and his defense in left field has also been outstanding. He already produced a web gem during opening weekend with a diving catch that denied Bryce Harper a hit. He demonstrated how vital his defense will be to the Braves.

 

At the plate, he went 5-for-8 with one double, one walk, and two RBI. Every at-bat was excellent since he worked the count and didn’t swing too early. It was heartening to watch him compete effectively against one of the league’s finest starting rotations.

One of Kelenic’s singles came in a pinch-hitting opportunity on Sunday, when Adam Duvall started and had a tremendous series in Philadelphia. It’s encouraging to see that the platoon is already performing wonders.

Jarred also had a hit in Monday’s series-opening triumph over Chicago. Kelenic has greatly benefited from the work he and Kevin Seitzer have done to improve his batting posture. They have decreased his leg kick, and his hand placement has changed little. It enables him to get to the ball faster and remain in the zone longer.

There is still a lot of baseball remaining, but it is exciting to see Kelenic’s plan coming together the way the Braves intended.

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