The injury bug has wreaked havoc on Christian Yelich this season, but luckily for Fish fans, he's done plenty of hitting when he's been on the field.
Marlins Park has turned into a top prospect merry-go-round this season, and now Fish fans will get to see the top position prospect in the entire system, outfielder Christian Yelich, for the first time in the big leagues. Yelich will be joined by fellow top outfield prospect Jake Marisnick (corresponding with the demotions of Marcell Ozuna and Derek Dietrich). We have plenty of fantastic coverage of how all the pieces fall into place here at Fish Stripes, but let's focus right now on Yelich.
Yelich was taken with the 23rd overall pick in the 2010 Draft, part of a class that we're just beginning to realize how stocked full of stupid good talent it was (see Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Chris Sale, and Matt Harvey). Yelich hasn't had all of the crazy attention that has followed the aforementioned players, but that doesn't mean he's lacking in talent. In fact, all Yelich has done is hit since he entered the Marlins' system.
With all the success Yelich has enjoyed during his professional career to this point, he's actually seen his biggest share of struggles this season. Most of those have been injury-related, dating back to the beginning of the season. He missed just about half of April due to plantar fasciitis and suffered an abdominal strain in June that kept him out for three weeks. I'd venture a guess that the organization also made sure to take their time in bringing Yelich back from injury, seeing as a promotion to the big leagues was possible at some point, though I'm not sure they expected it to be this soon.
Despite all of Yelich's injury problems this season, he's still managed to post an impressive slash line of .279/.359/.504 with seven home runs. The fact that he's been able to display plenty of power in an injury-riddled season is especially encouraging and now he'll get a chance to display it at the big league level. There will likely be some talk about Yelich's increasing strikeout totals but I think it's fair to say that it's likely due to the injuries and having to "start over" twice already this season. If last week's Futures Game performance at Citi Field (2-for-2 with a double) is any indication, Yelich seems to be locked in at the plate and there's no better way to test that theory than at the big league level.
The fact is that the Marlins' offense is desperate for offense at this point and even though the promotion may scare some fans into worrying about how this will affect his development, Yelich is already a far more polished hitter than that of Marcell Ozuna or Derek Dietrich at the time of their surprising call-ups. Yelich will likely get the chance to play every day from here on out and if the injury bug is done biting him for this season, he could have a huge impact on the Fish's lineup.