Heading into the 2013 season, things were focused on rebuilding for the Miami Marlins. In an attempt to get a better look at their future, the Marlins on Monday night announced the promotion of outfielders Jake Marisnick and Christian Yelich.
In the corresponding roster moves, the Marlins optioned Derek Dietrich and Marcell Ozuna to Double-A. Dietrich was sturuggling at the plate, and Ozuna, with a .261 average, was inconsistent but hit well with runners in scoring position.
Yelich was expected to be called up before the All-Star break, but subsequently got injured and spent a couple of weeks on the disabled list. He is hitting .280 thus far in 2013.
Promoting Marisnick comes as a surprise to many, mainly because of the fact that it wasn't frequently discussed. Acquired from Toronto, the speedy outfielder was injured throughout Spring Training and was thought to need more time in the minor leagues.
Miami is dedicating the season to evaluating the talent, so many aspects of the move make sense. However, the Marlins must have seen enough from Ozuna and Dietrich to decided that they needed more minor league experience before they can remain in the majors consistently.
Ozuna and Dietrich each showed promise. At times, they also showed their youth, and now they will get some more Minor League seasoning. Both still project to be major parts of the organization’s future. As for Yelich and Marisnick, they now get their first big league chances. Both are highly touted. Both are highly athletic, confident and eager to prove they will be mainstays in Miami’s outfield for years to come. Yelich, a first-round pick in 2010, has one of the best swings in the Minor Leagues. Look for him to take over in left field. Marisnick is a speedster who is terrific defensively, and he will likely step in at center field. The question is how much will he hit?
Marisnick, 22, came to the Marlins as part of this offseason's blockbuster trade with the Blue Jays. He ranked as BA's No. 64 prospect prior to the season, with Mayo ranking him 70th and Law ranking him 82nd. His strong season thus far propelled him to No. 39 on Law's midseason Top 50. In 296 plate appearances for Jacksonville, Marisnick is batting .295/.357/.504 -- an oddly similar batting line to that of his teammate Yelich. BA wrote that while there are questions about Marisnick's ability to make contact due to a large frame and sometimes long swing, he has the speed, plus power and above-average defense to project as a five-tool center fielder.
Manager Mike Redmond said he anticipates both players starting Tuesday. Marisnick will man center and Yelich will play left. "This is a positive," Redmond said. "[Ozuna and Dietrich] came up with just a little bit of Double-A experience and hit in the middle of our order for a good bit of time and really energized us. At the same time, we have to do the right thing for these guys and make sure when they come back to the big leagues it's for their careers. "Bringing Yelich and Marisnick, these are two guys that are definitely going to improve our defense in the outfield. They'll bring excitement and hopefully bring another boost of energy to this team and this lineup."
Heading into Colorado, the Marlins were shut out in three straight games at Milwaukee. The sluggish offense set a franchise record by going 37 straight scoreless innings. The drought was snapped in the first inning on Monday on Giancarlo Stanton's RBI double. "I want to make this clear: the offensive woes of this team I don't want to be attributed to them," president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest said. "That's not why this is happening. I want that to be clear. "It seems we just had a rough weekend and now we're sending a couple players out: I don't want it to be construed in that manner at all. Those kids did an incredible job. We rushed them here to the big leagues out of need, they had very little to almost no Double-A experience, and they did a great job for us."
The Marlins are going even younger. The team is calling up top outfield prospects Christian Yelich and Jake Marisnick according to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro. Outfielder Marcell Ozuna and infielder Derek Dietrich will be sent to the minors to clear roster spots. Yelich, 21, was ranked as Miami's second best prospect behind Jose Fernandez coming into the season by Baseball America. He ranked eighth in their midseason update of the top 50 prospects in the game earlier this month. Baseball America said Yelich has "the pure swing of a future batting champion and an advanced approach" in their 2013 Prospect Handbook.
#Marlins option Derek Dietrich and Marcell Ozuna to Jax; Christian Yelich (#21) and Jake Marisnick (#23) to be selected tomorrow— Joe Capozzi (@joecapMARLINS) July 23, 2013
#Marlins call up Yelich, Marisnick. Good deep league pickups.— Al Melchior (@almelccbs) July 23, 2013
#Marlins to promote top prospects OFs Christian Yelich, Jake Marisnick; Dietrich, Ozuna to be sent to AA. This is OF Miami had envisioned— Stoop Baseball (@StoopBaseball) July 23, 2013