Lewis 'looks amazing' on Day 1; Kelenic rakes

February 24th, 2021

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Mariners position players joined pitchers and catchers on Tuesday and embarked on the first full-squad workout of Spring Training, one that spanned the massive expanse at the Peoria Sports Complex due to health and safety protocols that call for physical distance in such situations.

When morning meetings ended and the 71 players in camp sprawled across the campus, many eyes moved to the outfielders on Field 2. and , the club's No. 1 and No. 2 prospects, have been a prominent offseason storyline given their rise through the Pipeline rankings, and was interacting with his new teammates for the first time, since he spent the final month of last year at the alternate training site in Tacoma after he was acquired at the Trade Deadline from the Padres. But it was the established order -- the player guaranteed an Opening Day roster spot -- who stole the show.

That would be reigning American League Rookie of the Year Award winner .

This is the time of year where clichés ring loud of players being in the best shapes of their lives -- there’s even a “BSOHL” abbreviation for the moniker that has taken off on social media -- but Lewis looked every bit the part on Tuesday. He began the field, quickly accelerating from shagging a few easy fly balls to lunging, leaping and sliding for others.

He then went to the batter’s box and unleashed some of the prodigious power that he flashed over each of the past two seasons, when he hit 17 homers over just 76 games, with an .824 OPS and 128 OPS+. On Tuesday, Lewis homered to both the opposite field and pull side multiple times in a five-round batting practice session with Kelenic and utility man , who looks noticeably bigger and stronger than during his mini-breakout last year. So does shortstop , who has put on 10 pounds of muscle.

Lewis is looking to follow up a 2020 in which he was the unanimous AL ROY winner and further cemented his place in Seattle’s center field long term. Watching in the bleachers was general manager Jerry Dipoto, who said that Lewis "looks amazing.”

The key for Lewis in 2021 will be to tap into more consistency and chip into his 29.3% strikeout rate, which was among the lower echelon last season and a direct correlation to the significant swing-and-miss to his game; he ranked in the lowest fifth percentile in the category last season, per Statcast.

Kelenic also wowed with some power on Day 1, notably driving the ball with force and authority to all fields, clearing the fence many times even on contact that wasn’t the most optimal.

Dipoto also got a more extensive look at Trammell, who recently was unveiled as MLB Pipeline’s No. 100 overall prospect, and who the GM said would receive strong consideration to contribute in the Majors in 2021. The former first-round Draft pick is a little older than the rest of his counterparts at the top of the Mariners’ pipeline, at age 23, and Dipoto recently said that he’s a player the club is “still learning a lot about.”

Trammell struggled in his leap to Double-A in 2019, his last full season, posting a slash line of .234/.340/.349 in 126 games. Given the Mariners’ clear needs at outfield depth, however, this will be a camp in which he gets a good look.

Rodriguez, who showed up looking leaner after making an emphasis on cardio activity and running this winter, also made his rounds on Monday and played his annual early spring game of catch with special assistant and future Hall of Famer Ichiro Suzuki.