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Yelich belts fifth home run, a 400-foot plus shot into a pond

FORT MYERS -- Christian Yelich never really has considered himself a power hitter. But so far this spring he's displayed the ability to take pitchers deep quite often.

Monday afternoon, before rain came and stopped play after five innings at Hammond Stadium, Yelich belted his team-leading fifth home run of the spring. And belted might be an understatement.

Twins right fielder Darin Mastroianni hardly moved as the ball came off Yelich's bat. The ball itself -- hit off Twins reliever Tim Wood -- traveled well over 400 feet and splashed down in a pond behind the stadium in right field.

"I didn't know there was a lake back there," said Yelich, who finished 2-for-3 Monday to raise his average to .381 with a team-leading 13 RBI. "I got it pretty good. It was a hanging slider and I caught it good."

Yelich, who has never hit above Single A ball, has hit 27 home runs in 909 minor league at-bats since the Marlins took him with the 23rd overall pick in 2010. In 42 at-bats this spring he's looked like Superman, a left-handed bat that would fit in beautifully alongside Giancarlo Stanton.

But it's clear the Marlins won't be keeping Yelich on the Opening Day roster. How soon he gets called up probably depends on he performs in Double A Jacksonville. But it's pretty clear he's impressed the heck out of a lot of people so far.

"There's always that temptation," Redmond said. "But at the same time too we've talked about this as an organization. We want to make sure when he comes to the big leagues he's fully ready. But like you said it's fun to see a kid highly touted and have come in and back it up. That's a good sign."

Asked if he's ever been on a tear like this before Yelich smiled.

"Actually I don't even feel super locked in," the 21-year old said. "I felt pretty good today, but it's spring training. It comes and goes."

As much as he would like to be with the Marlins on Opening Day Yelich said Monday he understands why the team probably will send him back to the minors.

"I don't really know what's going to happen. I know they do things for a reason and they got a process and they stick to it. It's worked in the past," he said. "I can't really be disappointed with anything that happens whatever that may be here in the next week or two. My goal from the beginning of spring training was to have fun and enjoy the experience."

Comments

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bob

This kid is so much like Giancarlo. You often here Giancarlo saying he didn't get much of a ball that he hit 450 feet. Yelich doesn't feel super locked in and he's still on a tear. With Stanton, when he is locked in he kills scoreboards. Hopefully Yellich will deliver the finishing blow to that home run monstrosity when he reaches the big leagues and he's locked in.

Joe Raymond

Yeah, there keeping him in the Minors so that he doesnt become a Super 2.... They get another year of cheap baseball out of him if they bring him up June 1st.... Actually a smart move for penny pinchers like the Marlins!

Flav C.

I don't mind the Marlins having Yelich starting at AA this season. I rather have them do this than rush him like they did with another # 1 (Hermida). Besides, one can say most of the other teams are penny-pinchers too, since other top prospects will start in AA or AAA (see Taveras, Olt, etc...) to avoid becoming Super 2.

Stan M

Would the good will and curiosity factors lead to such improved attendance that it might come close to negating the money lost with Yelich reaching arbitration a year early? Probably not, but it could make somme difference in Miami, especially if he succeeds. It would take some of the pressure off our esteemed owner.I don't buy into Hermida being rushed to the majors at all. Am I wrong?

Flav C.

Hermida debuted with 21 yrs old, while playing AA ball.

So, what if Yelich doesn't succeed? What if he succumbs because of the pressure of having to fill up a gap created by ownership? Who will get the blame? The FO again, because they rushed him to the majors?

If I were part of the FO, honestly, I would take my chances leaving him at AA along with Fernandez, and making a huge deal when both are called up at the same time later in the season.

Flav C.

Another good example of a former # 1 pick who was rushed is Cameron Maybin. At 23, and less than 400 at bats, he was already out of options with the Marlins because they didn't give him him enough minor league at bats to season. I mean, this is just my opinion.

Stan M

Maybin had a ton of minor league ABs. None the less, he obviously needed more...or better instruction. He was signed very young and never hit like Yelich in the minors. My mind agrees with you about AA ball, my heart says otherwise.

Stan M

Marlin team in 2015...I hope:
Lomo 1B; Dietrich or Solarno 2B, Hechaverra SS; Cox or Dietrich 3B; Yelich LF; Marisnick CF; Stanton RF; Brantly/Realmuto C

Fernandez; Eovaldi; Hernandez; Turner; and Conley/Hand/Heaney or veteran...with Cishek as probable closer...where is Ceda? I'd also watch that kid Brice.

This will be a fun team and if Stanton is traded, we won't get chopped liver for him that's for sure. I think he, and possibly LoMo would be on the "too expensive to keep" side.

Ozuma, Silverio, and Coghlan could still be in the mix and Ruffiano should be traded.

go see a shrink

Lomo??? too expensive to keep??? 2015??? HAHAHAHAHA...Delusional

 Alex Trebek

Who is Ruffiano

Oscar Greenberg

I'm quite sure Cishek will have a short life as a Marlin. Hot commodity right now (good reliever/under team control). Too many teams looking for this type of player, most of them with a wealth of minor league players to persuade Loria and gang.

Mangia que te fa bene

Ruffiano: Chi, per denaro o altro compenso o interesse personale, agevola gli amori altrui.

Translation: Pimp, pander

Stan M

I meant Ruggiano.
Ha Ha Ha, rather than see a shrink, I will explain why LoMo could be too expensive in two more years. There are 4 possible scenerios. One, he does poorly or doesn't recover from his relatively severe knee injury. Then, as an arbitration eligible player, he would be much too expensive and he would probably be washed up anyway. Two, he does extremely well and Loria would have to pay him accordingly, which he has shown a reluctance to do with several other players in that position. Three, of the two, the teams decides to keep Stanton long term and with his fragile knee (a major worry by the way) they move him to 1B and make LoMo superfluous. Four, Ozuma or Silvero really develop to the point that their value (and cheapness) make them more valuable to the team, so Yelish is moved to 1B (his original position) and Lomo becomes too expensive, and limited, to be a bench player and is traded. And Coghlan could still be in the picture. I'm hoping that Ruggiano and Gorkys are both moved for neither has the upside of these other players. And with Gorkys, I simply hate any outfielder who ignores cutoff men and he seems to think they are aiming stakes for him to overshoot with his rainbow throws.

Oscar G, personally I don't see a sidewheeling righthander as a long term closer. Others with more knowledge that I, seem to, so I've gone along up above. However, I see him more of a specialist once the league adjusts to his quirky delivery. Hope I'm wrong though.

Oscar Greenberg

Stan, I wholeheartedly agree with you on Cishek. Teams are looking at him not as a closer, but more as a set-up type of reliever, a 7th-8th inning man.
Torre and Maddux were pleasantly surprised with Cishek during the WBC. None of them knew of him before the tournament and were very impressed. Not only them got impressed. As per some of those "baseball rumors" type of websites, several teams already have Cishek on their wishlist. However, we all know how rumors work.

Stan M

Oscar G,
Closer is the most misunderstood, misused, and overrated position in baseball. The stat is based almost completely upon opportunity. I do not, and never will understand how a team can use their 11 or 12th best pitcher in a critical situation in an earlier inning because it is not a "save situation", fall behind and lose the game while their best reliever sits on his butt. Then he is often used in some future game in a non critical situation, to "get some work" because he hasn't has a "save situation" recently. These guys are paid about 2-3 times as much as an ace starter per inning pitched. If one discounts character makeup, which is admittingly a factor, most major league pitchers should be able to save 2/3 to 3/4 of the games they close if starting off an inning. That is because many of those saves are recorded with a 2 or even 3 run lead. At 76 YO, I probably won't be around to see it happen, but this whole nonsense will change someday...there are even hints of it now.

Oscar Greenberg

Yep... I read somewhere (my memory fails me now) that a good "closer", if used in critical moments of the game instead of only in the 9th inning, would create additional 4-5 Wins per season. Those stat-craze guys did an excellent study on that.

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