With the sixth pick in the 2018 MLB draft, the Mets selected Jarred Kelenic, a left-handed hitting 18 year old outfielder.
The centerfielder out of Waukesha West High in Waukesha, Wisconsin, is the Mets’ first high school first-rounder since Dominic Smith in 2013. Kelenic is also the first Wisconsin born player to be selected in the top ten of the draft.
The Amazin’s chose Kelenic one pick after the Cincinnati Reds chose third baseman Jonathan India, who the Mets were rumored to be very high on.
“For his age, maybe the best pure hitter in the draft,” MLB Network analyst Bill Ripken said during the telecast. “He’s going to get in the minor league system, he’s going to swing the bat, and prove he knows how to play the game.”
(Future grades on 20-80 scouting scale)
Hit: 60 | Power: 50 | Run: 55 | Arm: 60 | Field: 50 | Overall: 55
So the Mets reward for an awful 2017 season is Jarred Kelenic. The consensus is that he is the best high school hitter in the draft, and he has legitimate 5 tool upside.
Obviously, all that remains to be seen. These two quotes from Kelenic himself have made me an instant fan.
“If and when I get to the big leagues, that’s not going to be enough for me,” Kelenic told MLB.com’s Jon Paul Morosi in May. “I’m always looking for the highest competitive opportunity and biggest stage. Ever since I was really young, I wanted to play this game for a living and be considered alongside the best people ever to play the game.”
Okay. How about this one from a Baseball America profile?
“I don’t like to lose,” he said, flatly, following a win for his White Sox team at Area Codes. “If I’m playing you in checkers or chess, I’m going to beat you. Bad. I’m going to bury you. That’s something to take pride in. Just this last game, we’re up by one. Do we really need one more run in the last inning? Well, I’m gonna score because I want to bury you.”
Well, I’m sold.