Jarred Kelenic, a fisherman’s player, is now in a good position to take on rookie training

It is very likely that the success of fishermen in 2022 will be linked to the success of Jarred Kelenic.

Mariners’ Jerry Dipoto talks about how Jarred Kelenic is developing his game

Of course, it’s not all on the shoulders of the 22 – year – old player, but there is no denying that he is a key factor in the offense. If he fights, the sailors could still survive. But if he thrives, it’s hard to see the team failing.

While some may see this as pressure, it is worth remembering that this is the place Kelenic has always wanted to be. The experiences and hardships of his novice period have not diminished that desire. He wants to be the guy.

He has lived and breathed baseball all his life. Rocketing soft baseballs around the living room as a toddler. Getting up at 4 in the morning as a teenager to exercise because it was the only time he had homework and exercise after school. Then, after taking two weeks off at the end of last season to relax with my family, I went back to work because “I was hungry to come back after that because there were things I wanted to fix because of that I demand to enter the season. . ”

This is what he does.

The Kelenic we saw this spring is very different from what we saw at the same time last year. He no longer looks over his shoulder to see if the media has noticed that he is hitting home runs on the training ground. The madness has been reduced to about 2 on a scale of 1-10. It does not seem to be because last season humiliated him. He’s pretty comfortable. He has faced the unknown and was able to prepare according to what lies ahead this year.

This offseason, Kelenic received incredible help with his new agent who put him in touch with Mark McGwire. Initially, they were sending videos to the man who broke Roger Maris’ long-running home record, but not too long ago, McGwire asked the agency to give his Kelenic number.

“I started calling him. Our conversations turned into two, three hour phone conversations, “said Kelenic, who still talks to McGwire daily.

Kelenic had dozens of questions for the home run king in one season and a former MLB stroke coach, with one that was especially top of mind.

“This one year, what really went wrong for him? he said, referring to a 70-year period that McGwire set in 1998. . up your hands. And all he was thinking about was “good and easy,” and before you know it, he looked up the scoreboard and he had 70 home runs this year. “

The story broke through at Kelenic.

“I put in so much work in the gym and have become very strong and I can not try to force it,” he said. “I just have to let all the work I put in at the gym, the strength I have, let my abilities take over. “When I hit the ball badly and they go out on the left field, I’m doing something right.”

In other words, do not force it. Easier said than done, especially for someone as driven as Kelenic, but he is taking steps forward to ensure that what was seen so often in clubs last year in his struggle is not repeated.

The key to achieving this?

“I have learned to be aware of when I feel like I’m trying to do more,” he said.

For Kelenic, it’s part of his character, something he’s explored this spring and started on the training ground where he got an eye-opening.

“I like to turn off the speed camera. Any defects you have will be exposed. There will be hours, eight, 10 in a row, and you’re just hitting the ball. Then all of a sudden there is a five man row where they are not good. Roll yourself, tight, whatever it may be, and I’m like “What?” Then I will step out and realize that since I hit 10 in a row, I’m trying to hit one better, “he said and started clapping for emphasis. “Better than this (* clap *), better. It’s human nature. You can not be angry with yourself, but when I’m aware of it, I can step back and I’m going to try to hit this softer, and all of a sudden, boom – barrels, barrels, and I’m just getting started.

From the training ground into the game, Kelenic saw the same reaction. After breaking through in the first round against Dylan Cease of the White Sox at the start of the Cactus League game, he became aware that he was preparing too much for the pitcher.

“I came back to the ditch and I was like, ‘He was throwing 98 mph and I was trying to swing at 198%,'” he said. “I keep a notebook in the tent and write after the race what my thinking process was, what I thought they were trying to do and what I could do differently. I just came back to it, I was trying way too much. I took a step back and my whole goal for the next club was “We are going to shorten the load and we are just going to let our hands work.” And the next club, (* clap *) doubles off the wall. “

It has been a persistent discovery for Kelenic to put off-season training this spring, but McGwire’s words seem to have taken root.

“It’s learning how to be aware when you’re trying to do too much,” he said, “and being honest with yourself and being patient with yourself at the same time because I want to be the guy who comes up and has it big. hit – everyone wants it. But just being patient and breathing and understanding when you’re trying to do too much, that’s pretty much where I am. “

Kelenic seems to be in a good place. He speaks openly about last year’s fight – he finished with a .181 / .265 / .350 stroke line, 14 homers and 106 strokes in 36 runs in 93 games with the Mariners – which comes as a surprise not behind him but a bit. of him.

“Of course I failed a lot last year,” he said. “I think the best thing about last year is that the huge struggle I had was coming out on the other side. So I know it does not matter what I go through going on, I came out on the other side of hell … so I know I can get through anything. I know for a fact that it will never be this huge again because if it happens, it’s on me because I did not use anything I learned last year. “

Kelenic is learning a lot and it should not be taken for granted. It would be easy to let struggle and expectations snowball, but he rose from a giant spiral. Kelenic took what was to be a tremendous disappointment of his life – a difficult rookie season in a sport he had rarely failed – and turned it around. He seems to be moving it forward and dropping rather than trying to swing 198%.

“One of the things I talked about with my mother was that she had asked me, ‘Are you excited about this?’ Yeah Al that sounds pretty crap to me, Looks like BT aint for me either, Looks like BT aint for me either. I would just make fun of it because I like to get confused. I try not to take it too seriously. And my mom looked at me, she did not laugh, and she says, “You know Jarred, if this year happens like last year, it’s yours.” And I said, “You know what, you’re right.” Because there are so many valuable lessons in the period I had to learn, because that’s why it happened.

“Now I just have to use it and start playing.”

More from Seattle Sports Mariners insider Shannon Drayer

• Sailors asked Julio Rodríguez to “light up” – now “it’s on”
• Rookie Matt Brash wins the final place in the sailors’ starting round
• Fishermen are even safer with prominent beef by 2022
• New M’s lighter Sergio Romo is not shy about sharing his experience
• With better free throws, Logan Gilbert continues to raise the bar

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