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MLB Draft 2018 Profile: Jarred Kelenic

The Sox were big on Wisconsin prep Gavin Lux in the past. Could they actually go with a prep at No. 4 this year?

I had hoped to get out to see Jarred Kelenic play prior to the draft but between the long holiday weekend and a delivery of several yards of mulch, and finding out he graduated early (or late considering he turns 19 in July), this article will be a bit less picture filled than I hoped.

In the past, higher quality prep baseball in Wisconsin has been largely focused on a few parts of the state: the Fox Cities, La Crosse, and Madison/Janesville. Between Gavin Lux and Jarred Kelenic, the focus has certainly shifted to the southeastern portion of the state (sorry, Alex Call).

Who is Jarred Kelenic?

Kelenic is one of the few prep players from Wisconsin to be thought of as a Top 10 pick in the draft in a very long time. As an aside, Kelenic never played baseball in high school since his school’s baseball division started playing a few weeks ago and continues through July. He’s actually been on the USA U18 team since he was a freshman in high school.

He’s a six-foot-one, 195-pound center fielder that hits and throws left-handed.

How does Kelenic rank? 10th

FanGraphs: 8th

What is Kelenic’s game?

Hit: 60 | Power: 50 | Run: 55 | Arm: 60 | Field: 50 | Overall:55

Kelenic is an excellent all-around outfielder. His hit tool is more developed than his power currently, but as he grows up a bit, he has the potential to add to that power potential. His outfield play is based a lot on his legs and his arm currently. He’s not the most instinctive fielder, so a move to the corners would likely help him out in the long term.

What does Kelenic look like?

Why would the White Sox draft him?

Kelenic has been playing above his level for years. After his freshman year in high school, he played on U18 USA team internationally along with other U18 level play. Unlike previous prep picks by the White Sox, Kelenic’s hit tool is currently the most developed, meaning he could move up quickly if the Sox sacrifice a bit of defensive development.

Why wouldn’t the White Sox draft him?

If the White Sox’s window of opportunity starts in 2019 or 2020, Kelenic might be arriving as some of the important members of the window are leaving. That means a well-developed college talent might be preferred, to contribute sooner.

Also, since it seems likely that he’ll move to a corner outfield position, taking him at No. 4 might be a bit of a stretch.