Miami Marlins Prospects Christian Yelich and Jake Marisnick Called Up
Tuesday, July 23, 2013 will signal the debut for two top prospects in the Miami Marlins organization, and both happen to be outfielders. One of them is sweet-swinging lefty Christian Yelich, whom the Marlins drafted in the first round of 2010, and the other is Jake Marisnick, one of the main pieces that came back from the big trade this past off-season with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Christian Yelich (age 21), as stated previously, became the Marlins first round pick in 2010 (23rd overall) out of high school, and while he played first and third base in his senior year, the Marlins felt that his athleticism would be better served in the outfield. As soon as Yelich was able to play in professional baseball, he has proven his ability to hit, with a minor league career average of .312 and slash line of .387/.499/.886. Yelich has a nice mix of being able to hit for average, decent power, and possessing good speed for the Marlins minor league teams, as he hit 15 home runs and stole 32 bases in 2011 followed by 12 home runs and 20 steals in 2012, a year that he dealt with a concussion in July. 2013 has been a bit more injury-plagued for Yelich, but even while adjusting to more difficult pitching and battling injuries, he has still managed to post up an OPS of .882 in Double-A ball. He will be making his debut playing in left field for the Marlins.
Jake Marisnick (age 22) was a third round pick in 2009 (104th overall), also out of high school. Marisnick came to the Marlins as part of the colossal 12-player trade with the Blue Jays in November that involved a lot of money and a lot of prospects. In 2011, Marisnick had a strong season for Single-A Lansing in Toronto’s system, putting up an average of .320 with a slash line of .392/.496/.888 while hitting 14 home runs, driving in 77, and stealing 37 bases. 2012 proved to be a bit of a struggle for Marisnick, as he split time between the A+ and AA levels and combined for just eight home runs, 50 runs batted in, and an average of just .249 with a slash line of .321/.399/.719. After the Marlins acquired Marisnick, they placed him back in AA, and the move has paid off. After a slow start due to injury, Marisnick has pushed himself up to a .295 average with a slash line of .357/.504/.861, hitting 12 home runs and driving in 46. He will be making his debut playing in center field.
In making a note of the positions they will be playing, one may ask, “what happened to Marcell Ozuna? Isn’t he playing in center field?” The answer is, yes, he was. Due to a prolonged slump where Ozuna has hit under .180 over his last 20 games, the Marlins have decided to send him, along with second baseman Derek Dietrich, back down to AA. Ozuna and Dietrich were both rushed into the Majors due to injuries sustained early in the year to Giancarlo Stanton (Ozuna’s promotion) and Donovan Solano and Chris Valaika (Dietrich’s). The Marlins are hopeful that these two young players (22 and 24 respectively) will be able to make proper adjustments and get their full time necessary in AA and become strong parts of the team in September and going forward. With Dietrich’s demotion, chances are that the time at second base will be split between Solano and Ed Lucas.
There will be quite a few questions that are going to surround the Marlins future as soon as this coming off-season, as they will have four strong candidates for the outfield next season (Stanton, Marisnick, Yelich, Ozuna), but this can be discussed in a later article. For now, watch for Marlins prospects Christian Yelich and Jake Marisnick as they are hoped to be big pieces for the Marlins near future.