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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."

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