With their first selection in the 2018 MLB draft, the Mets selected then 18-year-old outfielder Jarred Kelenic from Waukesha, Wisconsin.
Even then, the thought process was that Kelenic could zoom through the minor leagues quickly with his skill set.
In his first season of pro ball, the young buck spent time with both the Gulf Coast League Mets and Low-A Kingsport. In total, he registered a .286/.371/.468 triple slash to go along with six homers and 42 RBI.
“He’s got a really good swing and good idea of the strike zone, and some power,” a Mets talent evaluator recently told Mike Puma in an article published on Baseball America. “He’s got a chance to be a five-tool guy.”
According to Puma, Kelenic is drawing early comparisons to Mets’ outfielder Brandon Nimmo, however, Mets officials believe Kelenic is more “refined” than Nimmo was at his age.
“(Kelenic) is a better athlete than Nimmo, and more instinctive than Nimmo,” the evaluator said. “Everything is way ahead of where Nimmo was, and it’s not even close on that end. It took Nimmo a long time (to reach the majors). I don’t think it will take (Kelenic) that long. “Nimmo had great work ethic and busted his hump to improve and do the best he can with the ability he had. It would be unfair to take anything away from Nimmo, but (Kelenic) is further ahead in the starting point.”
For Kelenic, he feels he learned a lot in his first season of pro ball, and is hoping that it helps guide him in the right direction next year and beyond.
“I learned a lot,” Kelenic said, according to The Record/North Jersey last month. “Wasn’t going to set number goals because it’s a whole new environment playing every single day, every night, stuff like that. Tried to go into it with an open mind, learn every single day and that’s what I did.”
Kelenic also participated in a skills camp at Citi Field last month, where he felt he was able to improve certain aspects of his game.
“Ever since I got here for the skills camp I feel more confident, I’m making adjustments, working with the AAA hitting coach, our coordinators, stuff like that,” Kelenic said. “I can work one-on-one with them and fine-tune things that will help me along the road. Instead of not getting results I want for two weeks, I shorten it to a week.”
Kelenic is ranked by MLB Pipeline as the No. 65 prospect in the game, and the No. 3 Mets prospect. MetsMerizedOnline and MetsMinors has Kelenic ranked as the No. 2 prospect in the system.