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Jarred Kelenic’s disastrous Mariners start takes sad Futures Game turn

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DENVER — There is no way in heck Jarred Kelenic wanted to be at Coors Field on Sunday afternoon rather than with the Mariners back home at T-Mobile Park.

Yet, here the well-known former Mets high draft pick stood, associating with his fellow minor (ouch) leaguers as they prepared for the All-Star Futures Game, the outfielder’s second such exhibition and his first since his disastrous major-league debut earlier this season.

“I’m excited to be here, this being my second time now,” the 21-year-old said before the game. “I’m looking forward to taking this one and slowing it down and really enjoying it. Last time (in 2019), I felt like it went by so fast because I was excited to be here. First time playing in front of that many people. And today I’m looking forward to just slowing it down and really enjoying it with this group of guys.”

In 2019, at Cleveland’s Progressive Field, Kelenic was just a few months removed from being traded by the Mets to Seattle for Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz. After not playing in any official games last year, the sixth overall pick in the 2018 amateur draft joined the Mariners on May 13 and proceeded to post a ghastly .096/.185/.193 slash line in 23 games, notching only eight hits, including two home runs, in 83 at-bats. The Mariners sent him back to Triple-A Tacoma on June 8, and he has compiled a .320/.392/.624 line at that level, homering nine times in 125 at-bats.

Jarred Kelenic MLB Futures Game
Jarred Kelenic At The Mlb Futures Game On July 11, 2021.
AP

Asked what he has been working on since his demotion, Kelenic said, “Just understanding what I can and can’t control. My ability, it is what it is. I’ve worked my tail off each and every year to try to perfect everything, and failure is part of this game. And I think the sooner that all players recognize the things you can and can’t control, the easier it’s going to be on your mind, and the better you’re going to play.”

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Noble J. Ozogbuda

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