Miami Marlins' outfielder Christian Yelich solid in leadoff spot

Scott Cunningham

Marlins left fielder Christian Yelich has been effective atop Miami's lineup, and has helped the offense early. Yelich is expected to be a career .300 hitter with his line drive-type swing.

Coming through the Miami Marlins' minor league system, left fielder Christian Yelich wasn't expected to be a leadoff man. But with an injury to Rafael Furcal and Adeiny Hechavarria's inconsistencies in the spot, Yelich has fueled Miami's early offensive success with a high on-base percentage.

Yelich extended his career best hitting streak to 15 games in the first inning Monday against the Braves at Turner Field. Although Miami suffered a seven-game losing streak early on in Yelich's streak, his hot bat has helped the Marlins win four of their last five.

"Hitting streaks are good, but I'm definitely happier about us winning," Yelich said.

While he extended his hitting streak with a bunt single on Tuesday night, Yelich's line drive approach led to him being defined as a guy who "will bat .300 in his career." Yelich is getting on base at a .407 clip, and is batting .338. The Marlins haven't always had a balanced lineup, and Yelich's success from the left side of the plate is notable.

Yelich entered Monday tied for fourth in the Majors with 15 runs scored, tied for 17th with a .333 (24-for-72) batting average and ranks 18th with a .407 on-base percentage. In 2013, Miami's leadoff hitters batted .229 (155-for-678) with 63 runs scored.

The leadoff spot has always troubled Miami, and Yelich's success is comparable to that of Chris Coghlan in 2009. Although Miami hasn't sent him frequently, Yelich has stolen four bases and is a smart base ruuner.

Yelich has attributed his success to "doing what a leadoff guy should do." But after trying Hechavarria and several others in the spot in years past, Yelich's consistent ability to get on base has helped the Marlins offense, which appears to be more productive early.

Miami's .279 average with runners in scoring position is fourth-best in the majors, and Yelich's presence at the top of the lineup is significant because of the success the middle of the order has had. Yelich's aggressive mentality has helped the Marlins' lineup take early leads, something which was almost nonexistent in 2013.

Yelich may not be as successful throughout the course of the season, but it may not be necessary.While Manager Mike Redmond called Yelich's success in the leadoff spot "huge," the production of the lineup as a whole has led to an evident improvement in Miami's run scoring capabilities.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Fish Stripes

You must be a member of Fish Stripes to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Fish Stripes. You should read them.

Join Fish Stripes

You must be a member of Fish Stripes to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Fish Stripes. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker