In the second inning of Kingsport’s game against Bristol, Kelenic hit a three-run homer giving Kingsport a 4-2 lead. On the homer, Kelenic told Gerard Gilberto of MiLB.com, “I knew he was going to come with a curveball. It was up and in, and I crushed it.”
— Mark Davis (@kmetsfan) August 23, 2018
Now, when a pitcher throws at a batter, the obvious intent is to intimidate the batter. Well, tonight, we found out there is no intimidating Kelenic.
After getting hit by the pitch, Kelenic was 2-for-3 with three runs scored including stealing second base and scoring directly after getting hit.
In fact, it was Kelenic’s single to lead off the bottom of the seventh which would spark an epic nine-run inning which put Kingsport up for good in their 15-7 win.
Overall, Kelenic was 3-for-4 with three runs, a homer, three RBI, HBP, and a stolen base.
This game was another part of what has been a terrific August for Kelenic.
In August, he’s now hitting .326/.380/.543 with seven doubles, two triples, three homers, and 20 RBI. Much of this success can be attributed to Kelenic slowing the game down and trying to execute. As he put it, ” I’m just trying to keep things simple, but at the same time, continually do what I’ve been doing and that’s hit the ball hard. They’re just starting to find spots, which is great. … I’m just trying to stick to the same plan, and that’s just barrel balls and be on time.”
He currently has a seven-game hitting streak with him amassing multiple hits in his last four games.
As impressive as his work at the plate has been, his work on the basepaths may be even better.
In August, Kelenic has stole 11 bases in 12 attempts. On the season, he’s stolen 15 bases in 16 attempts. On his stolen base prowess, Kelenic described his success as a mindset saying, “It’s ultimately having confidence in myself to know that I can take the bag. In that situation where I got hit … I’m going to take that bag. … It comes down to getting your jumps and getting your good lead.”
Seeing how well the sixth overall pick has performed this year, it’s clear he’s not intimidated by anyone, especially not any of the pitchers for Bristol.
Of course, when you play on a roster as loaded as Kingsport, it is easy to not feel intimidated. In fact, being part of a team like this can give you a certain confidence. To that end, Kelenic said, “When you can surround yourself with such great talent like that guys that we have, it ultimately makes you want to play better. … It’s definitely a blessing to be alongside these guys, battling day in and day out.”