Yelich sent down to the Minors
JUPITER, Fla. — Christian Yelich knew the day was coming. It happened on Friday, as the 21-year-old was reassigned to Minor League camp.
Yelich will open the season at Double-A Jacksonville.
Along with Yelich, the Marlins also reassigned right-hander Jonathan Albaladejo and catcher Jake Jefferies to Minor League camp. Right-hander Tom Koehler was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans.
The left-handed hitting outfielder was one of the standout stories in Marlins camp. He batted .364 with three doubles, one triple, five homers and 14 RBIs.
The Marlins anticipate having a very strong Double-A team. The outfield will have Yelich in left field, Jake Marisnick in center and Marcell Ozuna in right. However, Marisnick is recovering from a broken left hand, and he will not be ready. And a couple of days ago, Ozuna suffered a broken bone in his hand, and he will be out a month.
Yelich, ranked 13th on MLB.com’s Top 100 Prospect List, has not played about Class A ball. What’s he’s done in his Minor League career has been impressive, he’s a career .322 hitter.
Chances are, if he performs at a high level in Double-A, he could be called up sometime in June.
“You come in here with realistic expectations,” Yelich said. “I came in here, not expecting to make the team, but with the idea of, ‘Go have fun, make a good impression and just enjoy the time you’re up here.’ ”
Yelich now gets a chance to get more Minor League seasoning, and at-bats. He has 909 career Minor League at-bats. By comparison, Mike Trout had 1,117 Minor League at-bats before becoming a fixture in the Angels’ outfield.
— Joe Frisaro