this time two years agoit seemed as though the Mariners had the makings of a stadium that could be the envy of Major League Baseball.
Jared Kilic and Julio Rodriguez were also among the top five prospects of the game, and while they were fast approaching their major league starts, expectations were high for the duo.
Since then, things could not have turned out differently for Kilinick and Rodriguez.
Kelenic made his first appearance in 2021, and over 147 games in five different MLB stints with Seattle, he produced a slanted streak of just .168/.251/.338 while hitting nearly 30% of the time.
Meanwhile, Rodriguez was named an All-Star and won the 2022 MLS Player of the Year. He also signed a long-term deal with the Mariners that could be worth up to $470 million.
The one who followed the professional careers of both Kelenic and Rodríguez closely Kyle Glaser of Baseball Americawho joined Seattle Sports 710 AM Bump and Stacy Tuesday. In addition to talking about the Mariners’ current farming system, Glaser discussed Kielnik’s career and Rodriguez’s emergence.
Let’s start with Kelenic.
“On the one hand, he’s only 23, and there’s a long, long, long record of guys who don’t figure it out until they’re 24, 25, 26, even 27. So you don’t want to completely jump ship,” Glaser said.
However, expectations for Kelenic across baseball have fallen, Glaser said.
“In terms of the way his attacking game has evolved and his swinging has evolved, I think most people now see hope that he can hit enough to be more of a bottoming out type of system, and that will be something where he’s going to have some adjustments to make to get there,” he said. .
Kielnik’s defense has improved a lot, which could give him a “longer leash” as he is now a solid position player as well as a corner defenceman.
“But right now, the general view is you hope he can get to that kind of regular player rank. Just the way his game has evolved, nobody really sees the kind of impactful hitter, top to middle, that they did before.”
As for Rodriguez, did Glaser think the now 22-year-old would be as special as he was?
“Yes, I did,” he said.
Glaser and his fellow Baseball America players rated Rodriguez very highly, all the way back to 2019 when he was playing High-A ball as a young Mariners prospect.
“The kinds of things we were hearing from opposing scouts and managers were otherworldly. And then, seeing it myself when he was in the minors, it was clear that this guy was a talent of the caliber of excellence,” Glaser said. “…The fact that he represents this level of talent is no surprise. Now, the fact that he is He broke Mike Trout’s record with 25 home runs and 25 stolen bases in a single season.Oh, yeah, I mean, you can never expect that. This definitely exceeds anything you might expect. But the fact that he’s that kind of player, no, we’ve used him like that in baseball America since he was in football.”
Glaser said Rodriguez’s skill set was such that “you didn’t have to be a scout” to realize how special he was in the juniors.
“Here’s just a guy whose talent is in another world, it just jumps out at you. And it’s easy to know that’s what superstars are like. It was like that with Ronald Acuna Jr. It was like that when you saw George Springer when he was in Lancaster (Single-A) – those guys who will always become an all-star and the face of the kind of franchise of guys who could potentially lead you to a world championship.And that was the kind of player Julio was and it was very clear when he was even in Modesto with the A-ball that he had a chance to do it as long as he continued on the path he was going in it, and he did it.”
Hear the full conversation with Glaser on the podcast below.
More from Glacier: A closer look at the best odds in the Mariners farm system