There's no better way to hit your first Major League home run -- albeit in Spring Training -- than having Babe Ruth mentioned in the same sentence.
Jarred Kelenic, the Mariners' No. 1 prospect per MLB Pipeline, and No. 11 overall, did just that in Seattle's 9-6 loss to the Rockies at Peoria Stadium on Monday. The 20-year-old outfielder smashed a first-pitch fastball from Colorado reliever Alexander Guillen in the eighth inning, sending it onto the berm well beyond the right-field wall.
The Bambino connection? Kelenic called his shot -- sort of.
“I called it, in the most non-arrogant way possible,” Kelenic said. “I just looked at his fastball and said to Carson [Vitale], our field coordinator, if I get one heater, I’m going to hit it out. I swear. And the rest is history. I don’t know what else to say."
Kelenic will likely begin the regular season at Double-A Arkansas, though the Mariners haven't ruled out potentially having him in the big leagues in 2020. The sixth overall selection in the 2018 MLB Draft split last season between Class A West Virginia, Class A Advanced Modesto, and Arkansas, hitting .291/.364/.540 with 23 home runs and 20 steals in 117 games.
Here's how other top prospects performed on Monday:
Bobby Dalbec, INF, Red Sox
Dalbec launched a three-run homer in Boston's 11-11 tie with the Tigers at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium. The No. 3 prospect in the Red Sox organization, Dalbec posted an .816 OPS with 27 homers in 135 games between Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket last year.
Justus Sheffield, LHP, Mariners
Sheffield, Seattle's No. 13 prospect, started and tossed three innings in the Mariners' 9-6 win over the Rockies. He gave up one run on a solo homer by Ryan McMahon, yielding two hits overall while striking out four. He's pitched five innings overall this spring, two in relief, with a 1.80 ERA.
Tarik Skubal, LHP, and Jake Rogers, C, Tigers
Detroit's No. 3 prospect needed only 17 pitches to dispatch the Red Sox between the fourth and fifth innings, walking one and fanning three over those two frames. Skubal touched 98 mph with his fastball in his debut vs. Major League hitters, making it a day to remember for the 23-year-old left-hander. In 24 appearances between Class A Advanced Lakeland and Double-A Erie last season, he posted a 2.42 ERA with 179 strikeouts in 122 2/3 innings.
Rogers, Detroit's No. 10 prospect, launched a two-run homer off Denyi Reyes in the seventh inning, his first of the spring. The 24-year-old backstop hit .125 (14-for-112) with four homers in his first taste of the Majors last year. In 76 games between Double-A Erie and Triple-A Toledo, he posted an .845 OPS with 14 homers.
Sam Hilliard, OF, Rockies
Hilliard demonstrated the easy power with which he belts home runs by launching his first of the spring during Monday's loss to the Mariners. It was a two-run shot in the fourth inning off Wei-Yin Chen, and was part of a 2-for-4 afternoon in which he also doubled. The Rockies hope to see much more of the same in 2020, after Hilliard belted seven homers in his first 77 career at-bats last year.
Marcus Wilson, CF, Red Sox
Entering Monday's game just 2-for-13 on the spring, Wilson launched a three-run homer off the Tigers' Daniel Norris in the second inning of Boston's 11-11 tie with Detroit. The 23-year-old had a strong season over 119 games between Class A Advanced Salem (D-backs' organization), Double-A Jackson (D-backs) and Double-A Portland (Red Sox), slashing .269/.357/.492 with 18 homers and 13 steals.
Mauricio Dubón, UTIL, Giants
Dubón remains red-hot at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a double while playing second base for San Francisco during Monday's 8-1 victory over the D-backs. He's hitting .500 (7-for-14) with a pair of homers in early Cactus League play.
Luis González, OF, White Sox
Chicago's No. 13 prospect went 2-for-2 with an RBI single in a 3-1 loss to the Padres at Camelback Ranch. González is 5-for-10 on the young exhibition season, looking to bounce back from a year in which his power numbers were down, from a .498 slugging percentage between Class A Kannapolis and Class A Advanced Winston-Salem in 2018, to .359 last year at Double-A Birmingham.
Johan Oviedo, RHP, Cardinals
Oviedo tossed two perfect frames during St. Louis' 6-1 win over the Twins at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium in Jupiter, striking out one on his 22nd birthday. The right-hander is a non-roster invitee to Cardinals camp after posting a 4.73 ERA in 29 appearances (28 starts) between Class A Advanced Palm Beach and Double-A Springfield.