Infamous Mets trade continues to improve with ongoing disaster in Braves spring training

Who broke Jarred Kelenic?

Feb 24, 2024; Port Charlotte, Florida, USA; Atlanta Braves left fielder Jarred Kelenic (24) prepares
Feb 24, 2024; Port Charlotte, Florida, USA; Atlanta Braves left fielder Jarred Kelenic (24) prepares / Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports
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It’s like a film with a bad first act that gets better in the middle and provides one of the greatest twists anyone could’ve imagined at the end. The infamous New York Mets trade with the Seattle Mariners that brought us Edwin Diaz and Robinson Cano in exchange for multiple players, the most notable of which being Jarred Kelenic, has aged in an unexpected manner.

Following a miserable first year in New York, Diaz rediscovered why he was a Mets trade target in the first place. Ever since, you can’t see the name without hearing trumpets play.

The results of the trade took a drastic turn this offseason, of all teams, the Atlanta Braves acquired him from the Mariners. The storyline of Kelenic possibly becoming a Mets killer entered all of our brains. If his spring training performance has something to say about it, Mets fans have nothing to worry about.

Former Mets first-round pick is having a miserable spring training with the Braves

The speculation is that Kelenic’s bad spring is one of the reasons why the Braves went out and signed veteran Adam Duvall last week. It’s a backup plan the Braves should’ve already had in place given how troubling of a career the former Mets first-rounder has had in the majors thus far. He hit under .200 in 2021 and again in 2022. Last year, in 416 plate appearances, Kelenic finally established some sort of competency in the major league level slashing .253/.327/.419. It still came with a strikeout in 31.7% of his plate appearances and a big drop in home run percentage, too.

Without a doubt, the Braves took a gamble on Kelenic as their solution in left field. Still in the pre-arbitration phase of his career and only 24, the case for figuring out how to hit major league pitching is understandable. There’s a reason why he was the sixth overall pick in 2018. Mets fans panicked for a reason when Brodie Van Wagenen packaged him in a deal.

This spring, Kelenic is 3 for 42 with 12 strikeouts. All of his hits are singles. The .071 batting average has made him one of the most talked about players this spring. Did the Braves, a team that usually finds good scraps from other teams, miss on this one? How do we explain this to our kids?

Double agent? Not so much. Kelenic struggling is hardly a surprise. He hit decently in the second half of last season when healthy, but he does have a homerless streak dating back to June 9 with some missed time last summer as well. He left April of 2023 with 7 home runs only to knock 4 more for the rest of the year. The absence of power is unfortunate when it was his one constant strong suit. Even in 43 minor league plate appearances in 2023, Kelenic knocked one round-tripper.

Rather than fear retribution from Kelenic, Mets fans have joined the rest of the league baffled at the performance. Typing Kelenic's numbers used to make my fingers shake. Lately, they only do so from a caffeine addiction and not the superstar potential we all feared he'd reach by now.

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