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Rookie Outfielder Trying to Make Second Impression in Seattle

Seattle Mariners rookie outfielder, Jonatan Clase, is trying to make a good impression in Seattle after getting his second shot with the big club this season.  Clase was recalled on May 24th in a move that sent third baseman Luis Urías to Triple-A Tacoma.  This is the second time Clase has been called up in 2024. Hopefully, this stint will be more productive. Mariners rookie outfielder,

Jonatan Clase Hopes to Find His Spark 

Earlier this season, on April 15th, Clase was called up to the Seattle Mariners from Triple-A Tacoma. According to MLB Pipeline, Clase is the number 10 prospect in the Mariners system.  The Dominican outfielder slashed .222/.250/.259 through 27 at-bats.  Clase was originally called up to try and jump-start an offense that was struggling at the time.

“He’s a very young player,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “We needed a little shot in the arm. He did that and I think he’s got things to work on. He’s a learner. You can see him asking the right questions, listening to the right players and what they’re talking about. He’s got a very bright future ahead of him. He’s still got room for growth.”

It’s no wonder the big club thought Clase could be that lightning rod. Until being called up, Clase has succeeded at each step of his short professional career. Over the last three and a half years, Clase has stolen 162 bases and has only been caught 29 times.  In 2023 Clase hit 20 home runs while splitting time between Double-A Arkansas and Single-A Everett. With an OPS of .817 in the minors, the expectations in Seattle are high.

Clase’s Struggles After His Demotion

Once sent back to Triple-A Clase has been struggling at the plate.  Clase has two home runs and five runs batted in in 61 at-bats since being optioned back to Tacoma.  He has seen his slash line drop to .255/.376/.482 but has managed to swipe nine bases over May.  Strikeouts continue to be a problem for Clase, whiffing 16 times to just 14 walks since his demotion.  Clase’s strikeout rate sits at 31% over his minor league career.

Surprise Call Up

Much to the surprise of Mariners fans, Clase was recalled on May 24th.  This was one of a couple of moves Seattle has made recently to try and add offense to the roster.  Despite Clase’s recent struggles over the last eight games, he batted .344 with an OPS of 1.104.  When asked why Urias was optioned in place for Clase, Scott Servais responded:

“We’re looking for a bit more production here and we’ll give Jonatan a chance to run in there,”

It won’t take much to produce more than Urias, who was slashing .152/.264/.316.  Clase’s production hasn’t been much better but he has a much higher ceiling.  After three games since his call-up, Clase has zero hits in four at-bats with three strikeouts.  Clase brings pop and speed to a Mariners lineup that has struggled all season. If Clase gets an opportunity to play every day and can get going he will be a lot of fun to watch.

Main Photo: © Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports


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