Taking in the game today against the Mets in Port St. Lucie, a couple of things jumped out at me.
Christian Yelich is the real deal. This kid is ready for the big time. He could step in and be an everyday OF and possibly win ROY. Of course, the Marlins want to control his contract as long as they can and probably are in no need to rush them. I already predicted that he is going to be a late season call up, a la Miguel Cabrera in 2003. (But I am not saying the World Series is in this team’s sights.) He does have to fill out a bit physically, but when he does, this kid is going to be an annual all-star and possible batting champion.
Jake Marisnick also looks big league ready – at least defensively. The good news is, he has the tools to be a very good hitter – with power, speed, and average. He K’s a lot, but his long swing has been shortened and he looks the part. He passes the “eye test” and looks confident in the box. When faced with a 1-2 count in the top of the 6th with runners on 2nd and 3rd, he sacrificed a Chone Figgins in. Marisnick also made a spectacular catch in CF early in the game – he was playing shallow and got back to make a catch on the track and he did so effortlessly. He is so good, he looks like the CF of the future for the Fish – and that means Yelich will be pushed to LF.
Giancarlo Stanton is a stud, but he will be all smiles playing alongside these two guys who could probably defend the entire OF by themselves. That is a potentially star studded OF on par with the Angels.
Joe Mahoney did hit two home runs today, but they weren’t power shots. They got over the wall, probably wind aided, but he took low pitches and did a lot with them – that shows power. He is a lefty and has a Tino-like stance in the box and that means maybe this kid will get a better approach working with the former Yankee. Mahoney is 6’6″ and like Derek Lee, has a potentially long swing but seems to have tightened it up. He hits from the left, as does Yelich, Brantly, Figgins, Pierre – you get the idea.
Chris Coghlan should make the roster and get a gig manning the OF from time to time. He can play all three spots and his hitting looks like it is back to where it was pre-pie face injury in 2010. His swing continues to be short and compact, but now his legs look like they are under his swing more – and this will help him drive the ball with a bit more power. He also makes a lot of contact – something the Marlins philosophically want to see from their hitters and with Juan Pierre, Justin Ruggiano, Placido Polanco and Figgins, it looks like Coghlan will get to be a reliever for the older guys.
Lots of hits and a very competitive group of guys. Keep the eyes open on this team.