Hitting a home run in the major leagues is one of the most challenging feats in all of sports. Squaring up a 95-mph fastball and being on time with the swing requires much skill and athleticism. To that, Jarred Kelenic, a Seattle Mariners outfielder and Waukesha native, said, “That’s cute; hold my beer.”
A Historic Long Ball
On Wednesday, April 12, in a game against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field, Kelenic tattooed a Julian Merryweather fastball and recorded one of the most prolific home runs in recent history. His 482-ft blast to the second level of Wrigley’s centerfield bleachers was the second-longest at that park since such statistics have been recorded. Only Willson Contreras’ 491-ft bomb during the 2017 NLCS ranks farther.
The 23-year-old’s reaction to his monumental big fly was understated if not humble.
“That’s probably the furthest I’ve ever hit a ball…,” Jarred Kelenic said. “It felt smooth, felt pretty effortless, honestly, and that’s what you want in a swing,” Kelenic said. “I just got a pitch right where I was looking for and was on time for it.”
Also, there has been only one other ball hit farther this year, a Giancarlo Stanton long ball that measured 485 feet on April 2.
Quite the Series
Not only did Jarred Kelenic homer in all three games against the Cubs, but all of his dingers were no-doubters. His home run on Monday night – a 414-foot shot – landed just below the rightfield video board, and his 415-foot jack on Tuesday night was an opposite-field shot to left.
After an uneven start to his career, one that found him traveling back and forth between Seattle and their Triple-A team in Tacoma several times, Jarred Kelenic has appeared to find his groove thus far in 2023. His start to the 2023 season has been equal parts eye-opening, impressive, and promising. Kelenic is hitting .351/.415/.703 with three homers, five RBIs, and four walks.
With those encouraging numbers and his prodigious thunderclaps boosting his confidence, Kelenic’s frequent trips to the Triple-A side of Washington state may be a thing of the past.
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